Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When a Teachable Moment Goes Wrong

So I'm going to tell you an embarrassing story. If you want to read the story in a short version, then read about the why I'm an idiot and what you should do if you ever find yourself in the same situation, then just go over and read it here. If you want the long version where I truly expound on why I'm an idiot, read on.

All good teachers know to look for those "teachable moments". That zone of proximal development. Those everyday "aha" moments.

Sometimes, they're exactly what you hope.

Sometimes, they go wrong.

A few weeks ago I was seriously worried about my car. Like, beyond the yeah, it has issues and I probably should lay off the hour long drives for field trips worry and crossing into the oh no, the salesman said my new car won't be here until September and I don't think my car is going to make it without expensive intervention worry.

It was bucking. Lurching. And definitely driving like it wouldn't be driving for much longer.

I was freaking out. I've had a few oh my God moments with this car in the past year where I'm certain that the timing isn't going to work out. Once was right after I got an oil change. Something must have jarred one of the pumps or plugs or something, and about 15 minutes after I left the shop it was stalling every time I stopped at a light and it idled.

This time, I knew in my heart, it had to be something with my leaking gasket. Had to be. I mean, I knew the car leaked oil, I'd just filled it the night before.

So I brought it back to the guy who'd managed to fix the idling problem for a surprisingly inexpensive amount and quick turnaround (this was after the place that did the oil change basically said, yeah, stuff is probably wrong with your car). I told him what was happening and what I'd googled and that I was super worried. He didn't look optimistic.

Then he came out to the waiting room and said, "you are WAY overfull on oil. Like, at least two quarts, maybe three over."

Wait, what?

"Have you added oil recently?"

I told him, yes, I'd checked the oil last night and it was dry! So of course I'd added oil. He gave me a weird look, said that was probably the problem, they'd drain it, change the filter, and add new oil and see what happened. And low and behold, an oil change fixed my problem.

Then he taught me how to check oil. Which I knew how to do. And I left, totally embarrassed and frankly, wondering how I could have possibly made such a mistake.

And then I remembered my teachable moment.

Mom knows car leaks oil. 

Dad is not home.

Mom decides, since it's been a while since she checked and topped off oil, to check and, if needed, top off oil.

But wait! Dad is not home!

Girls, come out to the garage!

Daddy isn't home, and it's important that Moms, and all girls really, know how to take care of their own cars. 

So! Here's how to open the hood!

Here's where the oil is!

Here's how you check the oil!

See! I dipped the stick and wiped it off and here's how you read it!

Oh dear, it's dry. Well, here's how you add oil! 

See! Girls can do anything.

Did you see? Did you see what I did? I dipped, and wiped, and, in my excitement over the teachable and I am woman hear me roar, forgot to redip before I read. So, yeah, duh, it looked dry. Because I just wiped it off.

And because I was super excited, I taught the task WRONG, and then I basically had to pay a lot of money and admit to the girls that, nope, Mommy couldn't do this after all.

But hey, I taught them that when they screw up to own it LIKE A BOSS.
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