In-depth Blog Post #5: Taking the Initiative

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged last; before spring break I believe.

Wow, the year is passing by so fast, and there are so many events and tasks I need to go to and do before my nest break. Oh man. April, May, and June will be something I’ll remember for quite a while (if it doesn’t kill me first).

So over the break, I was fortunate enough to meet with my mentor for an extra hour as he was busy during the second week of the break. The break gets really busy at his work, so having the opportunity to go while the workshop is closed is something I greatly appreciated from my mentor.

During this lesson, we took a step up as the next vehicle maintenance skill I learned was much more difficult than the previous mechanic skills I learned. And can not be done simply at home, as shop equipment is needed to lift the vehicle up and make sure it is safe to work on. My last session, we focused on the back of the truck (which is what we were working on) and had to fix the break pads. I can honestly say that this kind of maintenance needs higher level of experience and I could not work on the break pads without more knowledge. However, knowing how the break pads work will prove to be helpful in the future when I can hopefully diagnose the problem earlier and have more knowledge on car maintenance.  The break pads of a vehicle is quite fascinating, as I have come to a realization that the car holds itself up; every part is needed, as they overlap each other. Without a part, the vehicle would most likely have a problem. The break pads have two components: the primary pad and the secondary pad. The primary pad squeezes the disc of the break, with moves the wheel, while the secondary break acts as a wedge. The two pads work together constantly, and although made out of a solid material, ware down as they undergo constant stress of breaking. In the other hour, he taught me the different filters, parts I did not know about the car, and liquids the car uses. Every vehicle needs its own type of liquid, being different than the other. I thought that each car would tell the owner which item belonged to the car. However, mechanics have a computer which has records of a variety of vehicles, so they know which item goes with which car. To properly maintain a vehicle, owners need to study the cars they’re using to be able to maintain their vehicles properly.

Now to answer questions!

1. My mentor, like any other person, forgets. So my mentor likes to leave 10 minutes of every session to ask questions that Ii have or ask things I want to learn for next time. He gives me an opportunity to ask what I want to be taught,  and gives me suggestions of things I should look for on my free time to ask next time we meet.

2. I like to spend time to review things I recently learned. My mentor does not specifically gives me any sort of tests or anything, but before we start our sessions, he usually asks questions about what I learned at my last session. Mechanic skills can easily be forgotten, so reviewing daily is needed.

3. We can only meet so often, and my mentor knows that. So my mentor might have moments where he knows people who are giving workshops or lessons on these kind of things. Unfortunately, I have been too busy and crammed to attend any of these workshops and enhance my learning, but there are opportunities for me too meet other mechanics and learn different mechanic skills and learn in different ways.

4. When we’re together, my mentor and I have a lot of things to talk about. We usually find time to talk about the news, our days, what’s going on in our lives, but most commonly: movies. I cannot stress this enough. We both love movies. And it is quite ridiculous how many movies we both enjoy.

5. The fact that my mentor has time to show me things that he hasn’t planned to show me is probably one of the best things going on between us. He knows that there’s a lot of things I would like to know, and the fact that he’s that dedicated to me to spend extra time to show me these things makes me feel really good about my in-depth project.

6. We’re learning what kind of people we are. It is easier to have a conversation with my mentor at my sessions, and I feel comfortable talking to him now, as I am slowly finding out the person he is. He is so modest, never showing off the things he can do or the things he has accomplished. He’s very funny, which breaks the ice most of the time. I can see myself looking up to someone like this; with a great mind and a kind soul.

Until next time blog!

One thought on “In-depth Blog Post #5: Taking the Initiative

  1. How about an instructional video or photo essay to teach us a specific car maintenance skill? I think some visuals would really help us understand what you are learning.

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