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Through the Eyes of a Mechanic

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 @ 01:02 PM
Author: admin

Eye Glasses

Jan. 20 2010

Seeing through the eyes of a mechanic? Let’s first consider what it is to be a mechanic. A popular definition is someone who builds, maintains and repairs mechanical systems, i.e. a “nuts and bolts” person who works with their hands. In my opinion, this is an incomplete definition. Consider that most mechanics start their career at a young age exhibiting an innate desire to take things apart, much to a parent’s dismay. At some point, parental frowns turn to pats on the back with the progression of finally putting things back together. If you are like me, the pats on the back are motivating but nothing compared to the pure joy that results from seeing and understanding how a bunch of parts join together to create a functioning system.

For me, this innate desire continues to grow and is stronger than ever partly because I am fortunate enough to continue on a path that encourages this behavior. From those first pats on the back, my journey continued to Mr. Ben Haas’ auto class at Temple High School (Temple, Texas) and on to a career as a technician and then a part time trainer.

I have come to realize that the true definition is found by looking beyond the “nuts and bolts”. A true mechanic is a master of the dynamics that turn objects into assemblies and assemblies into functioning systems. Simply put: A true mechanic is a master of complex systems through the mastering of its simpler parts.

One of the main values of this definition is that it does not confine our abilities to “nuts and bolts” assemblies. This is an important point since most mechanics tend to be hands-on visual learners.

It is also important because many hands-on visual learners feel limited in their learning abilities. For those who do feel limited, I suggest that it is no more a limitation for us than it is for others who never get our hands-on opportunity. You see, it is our real life hands-on experiences that allow us to build an instinctive understanding which cannot be forged in any other way. Perhaps we just have to apply it in new ways. To do so, I suggest we start with the right definition, and then, learn to see the world through the eyes of a mechanic.

To See the World through the Eyes of a Mechanic
To see the world through the eyes of a mechanic is to direct the desire for understanding how things work beyond just nuts and bolts. Specifically, it is to purposefully apply our mechanical tendencies, understandings, awareness’s, and expectations into the full spectrum of learning and problem solving.

We have a powerful opportunity because everything can be modeled as a system (or part of a system). Further, all systems will hold true to the same fundamental dynamics, the same dynamics that we have learned through our hands-on experiences. Consider that this applies to an engine just as it does to circuits, software programs, and even information and learning!

This shared connection, once realized, can be used as a learning framework to build from and work within. It is like having multiple jigsaw puzzles that have the exact same border pieces. Put the border pieces together for one puzzle and you have a framework for all. The result is a stronger learning foundation that will allow us to more competently and confidently reach into higher complexity levels.

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