Teaching Myself

I live in the world of education. For many years, I have been thrilled to see individuals learn, develop, accomplish, lead, and contribute. I encourage. I challenge. Creativity is woven into my fabric. Little should stand in the way of the learner (although algebra and I never quite found each other.) I am about to tackle (bad word selection – I can see myself tripping) a major home project.

Should I be chatting with a colleague, I would take a positive approach and encourage. Now, what do I do with myself? Being honest here – I am not the mechanical type of person. Chores around the house are not my strong suit. So, there is a “touch” of irony to me tackling a home project. As I talk to myself, I need to follow my own guidance.

My learning challenge is to figure out how to sand and re-finish a hardwood floor in an outdoor screened-in porch. In the past, that sounded like a lot of work. My instructional design background suggests I should break this project down into small parts and learn about each.

First, I stopped at a local rental company. This small business has been around for a long time. They were patient with this “newbie.” I told them that my priority was to complete this project and do it right, no cutting corners. I want it to look good, and not like someone’s first project. I have to ask myself if I expect too much, although the best way to learn is to begin.

Second, I head out to YouTube. There are several excellent films on how to refinish a hardwood floor. Certain themes are present in the films. One theme is to make sure to sand and vacuum. Not just once but many times. Different types of sand paper will become my friends. The better I take the sand dust off the floor, the better the final result. This is not just a one coat covering job. Three coats of high gloss looks to be appropriate.

The folks at another local store were helpful with the selection of the coverings and the tools to apply the coverings, two good examples of customer service. Here is a novice (surprisingly at my age) looking to undertake a pretty big project. Before I began, and during the last view of YouTube, I took notes, highlighting areas of emphasis and details. I want this to go well and do not want to see myself forget something.

This is being written on Saturday, July the 10th. I will begin the project early morning of the 12th This article will be submitted before I can let you know about how I end up. I have to admit that this is getting me out of my comfort zone. Taking the risk is giving myself the opportunity to learn. I am excited about taking the risk and the learning. I have been told that the final result will be much better than the current state. Learning, business customer service, and home projects, a great opportunity for risk and reward.