Thursday, November 10, 2011

11/10/11 The training

I've been in a training class all week, one I refused to miss even though I've been sick. Finally today I was able to attend temperature-free!

Which alerted me to the fact that the time management by the instructor has been pretty poor. He'll start late, then decide to try a new module and leave us for 15 minutes to go print it out. The hands-on labs are OK, but he allots 45 minutes for what should be a 15-minute exercise, then with breaks and questions they'd take over an hour. Today I waited over half an hour during an exercise that involved finding a partner who was ready to test with, then it turned out my partner -- the most capable person in the class -- hadn't read the instructions and gave me the wrong information. I had expressed some concern, asking if we'd have time to finish, and was assured we would, but on the afternoon of the last day, only 7 out of 16 items we needed to complete the course has been checked off. The content was good, the labs useful, but the whole thing could easily have fit in 2 days.

Better yet, I could have learned twice as much in the 4 days I've spent there. Some of the most important and interesting things I learned happened only because I pounced on a lab tech when the instructor unexpectedly left for the afternoon (!), and I asked some detailed questions that turned out to be far beyond the scope of the class and turned into an hours-long whiteboard session. OK so I hijacked the class, but this was important.

Sheesh. Don't they know who they're dealing with? I have a new obsession, without the aptitude or background to learn it easily or without a zillion questions and scenarios -- so don't mess with me! Pound me with information please!

However, perhaps more important in the training arena:

Tonight, Gabriel wanted me to go dig around in the garage for some toy he'd been missing for a while (an RC car I think). He'd been obnoxious at dinner, so I made him work for it: he had to help me, and a lot, to clean up dinner. I believe this should be old hat for an almost-10-year-old, but in practice in our lives, after dinner means shuffling kids off to bed or making up for homework not done before dinner. So they have no idea how -- or even that -- the kitchen gets cleaned up. It's just magic.

But thanks to Veteran's Day, tomorrow is not a school day, so Gabriel had extra time -- and thanks to wanting the RC car -- extra incentive -- to help. He rinsed dishes, loaded and started the dishwasher, swept the floor and took out the garbage. Yeah!!! This should happen every night -- if only we could get dinner done well before bedtime. He's quite capable of it, despite his complaints. And I won't always have such a strong motivator like an RC car. But boy was it good to see him doing some actual work for a change. And frankly, it was fun spending time alone with him and chatting with him while we worked together. He goes to bed a little later than the others, so I get some alone-time with him every evening and it makes my day, but we never spend it with him cleaning.

If only I had more time -- if I weren't so busy working and training -- I'd have a lot more time to train him -- and his entitled siblings -- to work! It'd be good for all of us.


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