It was room after room of every tool, machine, and set up required to bring any horn back to its former glory or improve upon it. Just when I thought I had seen it all there was another door leading to another enormous department. A place designed to inspire learning with a comfortable professional culture of instrument geeks. Home sweet home. A big difference from the single room shop I am learning in now. Instrument repair is a small industry with only a handful of formal education opportunities in the country. Badger State Repair has truly earned its reputation as the industry leader. Not only is it the only school that provides students with the opportunity to work on hundreds of horns prior to program completion, provides an apprentice based platform, and has prerequisites to gain entry but it also offers graduates aggressive job placement and critical professional connections. I just finished a visit with Mr. Edward Strege for an interview and school tour. The amazing news is that I was accepted to the program. The more amazing news is that I will get to spend an entire year learning from an educator that s responsible for creating a healthy, collaborative, and progressive culture within the industry. This man has the professional ethics I seek to adopt in life and I am positive I will find value in all the time I get to work with him. As I architect my higher education path I realize that I seek not just technical knowledge and skills but I am thirsty to balance professional usefulness with killer soft skills that will be as critical to the legacy I leave in the world as the trades I excel in. From my limited perspective it seems to me there is a shortage of ethics, soft skills, and advance citizenship in today's public education system and I intend to ensure I don't miss out on the humanities and personal growth elements. Similar to my trumpet studies, I will always value and maintain my basics!