Sunday, January 16, 2011

Effort vs Inspiration. Success Stories vs Little Bastards.

I was a B student at university. I can even attest to 2 D's on my transcript ~ French and French Literature. The first, I blame myself. The second, I blame the throat-clearing burn-out who lost her train of thought whenever she lost her place in her notes.

In any case, I have never been an inspired, 'natural' learner. I was of the work hard, show up each day and go home and do your homework each night, vein of student. I am arrogant enough to realize I'm smart. I'm also aware enough to know smart don't count except in inked-in crossword puzzles.

The first rule of success is showing up.

I had a smug little bastard in a class back in the early '90's who blew off too many lectures and too many assignments, then showed up for the final. He'd already failed, of course, but had a right to take the test. He later showed up in my office, talking about how he'd been bored by the level of material and the stupidity and struggle of the other students. He was planning on attending an Ivy League one day.  ...blah. blah. blah.

And I admit to some pleasure in telling him that those "stupid" students were heading for university while he was not. ... Success is showing up.

So here I am, a student once again. I want sooooo much to learn! Sometimes I'm frustrated that there are few mentors in my current workplace. Still, most times I'm excited by each new 'ah Hah!' moment, each new skill.

For 4 months, I've been inspecting the same 6 trucks, day in day out. And every once in a while, there will be a day when I think, "I've never noticed that before." Missing dust caps on the brake chambers. A slipped splash guard that is now rubbing a tire.

For a week, I've been puzzling over a random shiny spot on the steer arm of my beloved Mack. Today, I had that lovely Eureka! click. I climbed up in the cab, fired him up, turned the wheel ...and viola. Turning the wheel to the right, pulls the steer arm back, and 'there.' The tire hits the steer arm. Not good. and yet how much fun to puzzle and solve, to work the problem, to grow as a driver.

I may be an ocd witch, but I ain't a little bastard.

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