Education for an apprentice carpenter began in the family workshop, with instruction in tools and technique, and would include numeracy, measurement, and geometry. At the state school, he would be expected to learn and copy the great literary texts of Egypt, which included histories, instructional manuals, hymns, poems, and works on medicine and magic. Of interest is the famous Satire of the Trades, which argues that the scribe is the greatest craftsman by disparaging every other occupation. The Satire gives exaggerated accounts of the horrors of manual labour, including the sad lot of the carpenter:
The carpenter, with his chisel, is more exhausted than a field hand
His fields are the timber, his plough the chisel
No nightfall rescues him
When he has done more than his arm can take
At night, he lights a candle
Ironically, the Satire of the Trades actually celebrates the myriad occupations that combined to create that remarkable ancient society.