In-Depth #3: The Relationship of a Mentor and an Apprentice

Well darn, a week before the new month. And it seems as if I haven’t aged a day.

My mentorship has been going very well as the month slowly comes to an end. I’ve unfortunately have met him only once since my last blog post, but I have had a very informative lesson. The last lesson I had, I was taught how to change the spark plugs of the engine. Although this may seem easy to some people, I found this like challenging as there were many things to follow as the lesson progressed. The main thing to keep in mind when changing the spark plugs-and anything in general when working with engines-is that keep track of where everything goes and attaches to. Each spark plug has a specific connector which distributes the sparks to each spark plug, where the engine receives it and starts. This piece of the engine is essential to starting the vehicle. It takes specific spark plug ratchets to remove and replace the plugs, and removing the actual spark plug connectors took a bit of broad force. He also took a few minutes to show what is the actual components of the inside of a car. Overall, although I found myself scrambling to find which connector connects to which spark plug, it was a good day.

It was a very good mentoring session, but I found the easy transition from one part of his lesson to another and the examples he used to relate to the engine to be something well that happened during the mentoring. The fact that he uses examples to find connections with what he’s talking about made it particularly easier to follow and comprehend. If he didn’t compare everyday things with vehicles, such as gears on a bike with gears on a car, it would be much harder to follow.

However, the lesson wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever experienced because I’m still at that stage where it’s a tad awkward between my mentor and myself. We felt that we were effectively communicating with each other as we both got answers we wanted and asked questions for reassurance or for curiosity.  Although my knowledge of engines are limited, I tried to be as honest as I can with what I knew and was open to anything he taught me, even though it might have been against what I already knew before. I feel that we were really paying attention to each other as the session progressed because it got a bit easier to talk to him, even though we haven’t known each other for too long. I can safely say that we both paid attention to each other, because I did what ever he asked me to do while he kept my strengths and weaknesses in learning in mind, as he knew I would learn better more from hands-on demonstrations than on paper.

A learning challenge I found while learning how to change spark plug and even when I first got introduced to the engine was that I had difficulties remembering all the parts and possibly steps of an engine. Engine work takes a lot of memorizing which I am not fully use to at the moment, so for the time being, I must constantly review and test myself to make sure I can remember the parts and their specific tasks of an engine. I possibly might purchase a few books or check a few websites on the parts of an engine just to constantly have the parts circling in my head.

Thank you very much for following along, and I am quite excited to see what I will learn yet. I want to learn how to build my own engine, but I probably won’t get to that point for a long time.

e3_plug_7x5_300

A spark plug

IMG_0077

The spark plugs in an engine

The First of Many: The World of Columbus

So we just recently started our social studies unit on Columbus, and to be totally honest; I’m as lost as a seal in a walrus world.

http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-christopher-columbus

Not that I do not follow along with the class discussions and such, it’s just the fact that one thing leads to another, and sometimes I don’t know where we’re going. I would ask questions, but sometimes there are too many things going on to ask one, and sometimes I feel like I would ask the wrong question. I will admit, the following weeks will be  little hard to follow, but at the end, I know I will get it. (Or least some of it).

Carrying on, my question, which is “What did Spain get out of death and brutality in the Americas?” could have a lot of answers to it. This kind of question, cannot be answered with a simple respond like “gold”, because the Spanish got a lot more than just gold. The Spanish got power, land, reputation, and all led to the evolution of modern society. When asking this question, you probably need to be a little more specific in order to get a a more understood answer. For example, “What did Spain achieve inside their culture when they invaded the Americas?” This kind of question would get a more specific answer to a question. The reason I asked this question and the topic I want to focus more on as I continue with this subject is “Is it necessary to destroy a civilization to grow a better one?”  This question intrigues me because in history, many civilizations are colonized and faded, but I wonder if it is possible for new societies to grow without old societies  becoming a thing of the past. And I believe that to build a better civilization, you must know what causes it to become worse. This principle can be applied to everything in my opinion. To learn and grow, we need to make mistakes and cause our own problems.

https://imgflip.com/gif/6pzjm
Credited by imgflip
Okay okay, I must admit. Compared to everyone’s GIFs and photos, mine does not look good at all. And I agree. I’m still very new to GIFs and the fact that I didn’t know what we had to do 100% made it a little harder.
Anyways, my GIF was taken from a scene in Home Alone, created in 1990, which starred a little boy being home alone for the winter holidays. The reason I took this scene and created a GIF out of this one is the fact that Columbus showed no mercy towards the natives when he arrived. As the person in the GIF shows, he shot blindly into the area in front of him, not knowing the consequences he would have caused. Columbus can be compared to this situation as he decided his actions blindly and did not care about the consequences, metaphorically, shooting in all directions.
I hope this sums up the things I want to learn out of my question, and that even though I’m a confused seal, anybody can pretend to be a walrus.

In-Depth Post #2: The Source of Learning

Wow, the week have gone by so fast. New classes, new semesters, new challenges. And I’m up for the challenge.

It has been a few weeks since we have gotten our In-Depth assignment, and in that time period, I managed to meet with my mentor one time. He has been very busy with school at the moment so I haven’t seen him as much as I want to, but we have set up specific dates each week so we can meet and he can mentor me.

So I managed to find another worker in Coquitlam’s Kal-Tire that I had look for to be my mentor on car mechanics and maintenance. I must admit; meeting with my mentor for the first time was a bit awkward and I was little misguided as it was his first time ever mentoring someone. But from what I know from his passed experience, he definitely knows what he is doing. He is currently undergoing school to further his understanding of car mechanics, specializing the engine itself, which is a much more complex level of mechanics than what I’m learning. In high school however, he took automotive classes that helped him understand vehicles. And once he graduated, he took an apprenticeship at Kal-Tire, where his skills for mechanics really developed. And after a few years being in the business, he has gained enough skills to teach his first apprentice: me!

My mentor actually didn’t plan on becoming a mechanic for his career, and took automotive classes as a hobby. He originally went to school to become a lawyer, but thought it wouldn’t be the right profession for him. So as I asked my mentor, he experienced a lot of different emotions  while becoming a mechanic. He felt sad in the beginning as his career choice did not seem to work out for him. But as the opportunities for him to become a mechanic started to rise, his hope got higher, and he got through the obstacles he faced in the beginning. He told me before we started was that “never have concrete plans, because as life starts to age, so does your outline.” I understand his saying completely because I know that not everything works out as planned, so I need to be flexible with everything that is going to happen and be prepared for things to change.

Since we only had an hour for the first day, my mentor just showed me the engine of a car. He taught me all the components that a car needed to have to be able to function properly without breaking down. He showed me the battery, the air filter, windshield fluids, break fluids, power steering fluids, transition belts, and a few more. I know a basic understanding of what these parts do to a car, but I tend to forget and need a review daily. He also taught me the tools needed to work on a car’s engine, which is basically the  ratchet and wrench. He also told me screws’ specific names and what their shapes are. I know there isn’t a lot in the beginning, but I will soon get to it.

What I have learned so far from my mentor is that I like to be taught first by hands-on demonstrations before I get to the written part of learning, especially with mechanics. A skill like this must be taught first-hand, so I believe that my mentor is doing very well by showing me what I’m doing. Learners can see what their mentors are talking about, and actually learn by doing instead of listening. If there is a time where I would become a mentor, I believe that learning hands-on his very useful to specific types of skills such as mechanics. If you were being taught a skill like math, I believe it would be better to listen before you put it into action, instead of doing the work as you teach.

I know I haven’t posted any photos yet of me doing anything, but as soon as I see my mentor again, I will add the photos!

car-project04b

The engine of a car