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Saturday, December 2, 2017

My 'I am a badass" post

Okay....I'm an awful blogger...awful...but it seems I use this blog to put things out in the world and to explain things that may help others so that's what I'm going to do here.  .......usually, I'm boasting about my family or how I view things that nine times out of ten have everything to do with my children.  ....not today.
I'm entering a new phase in life where soon both of my youngest boys will be in school all day and I want to work....I just don't want to work in the stressful environment I've worked in since I was 17.
Sooooo........long story short, this post is about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and how I'm the one you want teaching this...it's about NDI (Non Destructive Inspection or some say ndt non-destructive testing).....it's a bit about how I'm a badass and though people throw those words around, they want you to sort of justify that...people want to know how on earth you're qualified to teach when you have no degree.

So, Hi, I'm Chanda.  44 years old with 3 boys.  I've got an angel girl under my belt.  One of my guys is grown and making me a grandma this year.  We're excited about that.  One of my guys is Autistic.  Sometimes he feels high functioning and other days we're cleaning dirty underwear and channeling our inner yogi.  My youngest guy has Pierre Robin.  He had some pretty severe things going on in his first 3 years of life, he's still got some things going on, and he's constantly 'watched' because as he grows, he's got more 'things' that will most likely require surgeries and intervention.  The angel wasn't with us very long but she gave us quite the education from the womb and then her 11 short days on earth.  ..........and yes, I'm more than a  mom.  I've worked since I was 17 and even when I had some stints where my pay was not from an outsider, I've worked and I've worked hard.  I'm a lifelong learner as well.  I do this from interest, joy and sometimes necessity.  I know some stuff...and I'm very much putting that lightly.

Recently I interviewed to help kids with retention needs.  Those kids that need help with reading or math.  Those kids that are behind. ....I'm uniquely qualified and yet anyone can help a kid here with a simple question that I learned from my cousin's husband (shout out to Sarah and her educator hubby, Zack)...if your kid has trouble reading or you have trouble understanding where they're coming from ask them 'what do you see?'....expand that thought when you're with them and within yourself and things will happen.  Expand that one simple thought and it's truly mind blowing.  ....I'm not even going to go into this but trust me, try it.   ....learn about confirmation bias, apply this basic step.....and POW!...you're expanding, my friend.

Now during this interview, I was asked my work history and some life history. .....what a loaded history and one that I summed up as I loved the opportunities I have had, I love the life lessons and the practical applications but I was ready to move beyond a constant justification of my skills and to simply help.  I no longer wanted the stress of being the only woman on a job site or arguing about why something passed or failed in the aerospace, construction, amusement park, etc. worlds....I had learned to live on one income and the money was no longer a big issue.  I love kids and have a knack with younger children.  As for my personal life, I didn't expand too much but said that my children have truly taught me patience to the point I can truly let go in a crisis moment to be calm enough to take care of whatever needs taken care of in a given moment.  I've taken nursing classes for the benefit of what my children needed at any given moment but I'm definitely not a qualified nurse...simply qualified for my own and know enough to possibly help in an emergency.  As for teaching, I'm qualified to teach Sunday School (don't laugh).  I've had a room of 18 first graders and commended myself for not going nuts and somehow getting the little goobers to actually learn something, have fun and leave me gifts because for some reason they really like me.  As for NDI, I'm your woman here.  I've worked in that career field and it opened doors.  ....who knew that one little interview was going to open such an awesome door with a call back and some chit-chats??!!

Let me give you a small education on NDI....very small....just enough to respect those that choose to do this.  .......I never chose it actually.  I went into the USAF to become a nurse...please don't tell my mama but I was kicked out of that program for underage drinking.  ....yeah...not cool.  I nearly got kicked out of the Air Force but lucky me scored incredibly high on the math section of the ASVAB (basically, the military's test to see where they can put your butt and where you'll be useful).  Not so lucky me scored incredibly low on mechanical comprehension but since Chanute AFB, IL was closing soon and they needed people in the NDI career field, yours truly got sent from sunny San Antonio, Texas to a very cold Illinois.....it was a winter move....nice.

And the drinking thing?  I'm grateful I got scared out of my wits because it very well saved my reputation and my future.  ....plus, it's a hilarious story when you know the entire story...another day though.  ....the low mechanical score?...you learn as you go and you tend to not forget because you were always the youngest, the lowest ranking and the one always having to let the older guys chill out....funny but I learned tons because I rarely had the choice to sit on my butt.

I had a knack for NDI education.  Little did I know that with this career choice, I would be testing every time I seemed to turn around.  If you truly want to understand the career...google it.  We check for stress and wear and tear, cracking and such so catastrophic events do not take place.  We do this in a manner that isn't destructive.  We learn how to use ultrasounds, eddy currents, magnetic fields, x-rays, viscous and elastic properties.....we're far from dumb folks.   And yes, since the technology is continuously changing, we test for each of these properties on average, every 2 years.  We're a certification kind of career.  We need to know a bit more than how to turn on the machine....once you're outside of the military, you better know your stuff to stay employed and actually worth your signature.  So am I qualified to teach STEM?  You bet your sweet ass I am.

In addition to years of NDI, I also certified as a CWI, a certified weld inspector.  Google that too if you need to know more but basically, my initials are throughout the state of Utah (and quite a bit of Ohio) and many surrounding states because I'm the one that made sure materials were qualified to be used, I made sure those hospital steps were worthy of standing on, I signed off that yes, that dental equipment isn't going to fall in your lap if the earth shakes a bit and yes, if you walk out on that crazy Plexiglas structure over the Grand Canyon, yours truly made sure the structure will hold your bum and the 49 others with you.  From the ground up, an engineer or architect or financing genius built it all on paper or a computer....I and all the NDI and CWI folks made sure those forms and programs were acted upon and could stand water.  Am I simplifying all this? Yes  ....am I embellishing this?  No.  ....we test constantly and we know more than the average bear about much of what holds our material world together and how easily it can come apart.  ..........and to keep this short, we end up learning to read drawings well, we can decipher contracts and technical jargon, we know what is good and what is not....we can manipulate our machines to see if that massive bolt that contains the stress of 50 plus bodies floating in the air of some awesome amusement park ride will not send you flailing to your imminent death.  ......and if the plane goes down, we will even test to see if yes, it was a fan blade that cracked and indeed caused catastrophic damage...you might want to start testing those periodically.

Now STEM and me....  If you come to a STEM class, you're not being graded.  You are most likely learning real world application.  You're also coming to me because a test score said you should (I kind of don't like this but it's the way it is right now).  It's sort of today's shop class.  If I teach 8 kids math....I'm teaching a scenario.  I'm asking if you have 4 glass cases in your bakery and need this much product here and here...and this much money...and this much profit....how do we do this?  If you have a special needs kid that must take in so many ounces of fluid per hour, how do you come up with the right answer considering weight and other factors?  If you're coming to me for science or technology ...I'm teaching through experience and real world applications.  If you want your mouse to move this ball on the computer, how are we going to make that happen?  If you want to make a sound wave move in water, how are we going to do this?  ..........you need your traditional teachers but you need someone like me too.

I'm actually also going to be doing a few after school type programs that will fortunately be open to anyone that wants to learn this stuff...because it's fun and makes lots of kids learn why your regular teacher has drilled the 'boring' stuff.  We're also talking about an all girls coding after school program because truly, we're big time under-represented.

Sooooo.....if you want to ask a question, I'll do my best to answer.  I certainly hope I've made those that wonder what on earth I'm doing and how the heck am I qualified learn something.  I'm most likely never going to be the English teacher because clearly, that's not my thing.  But true STEM is emerging and new and so awesome.   .......plus, it's cool to truly, truly know that old dogs can learn new tricks and that self-education matters.  ....what really matters is continuously learning.

That is all.   ....and yes, I am a badass.  We don't own it enough unless we find a meme that's a mere shadow of the light we really hold  ...today, own that title and shine on.  I will.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What's Important

Because the news I see is depressing.....here's pics to remind me what's truly important in my life, right now and always.  I hate no one and do my best to love all regardless of party affiliations or color or size or age or religion or any of that nonsensical labeling of our differences.  .....for me and really I think most....we need and want love and the most basic things that equal a full heart, a comfortable home that provides our necessities, and a daily purpose that leads us right back to that full heart and home.  .....The conversation of one most tragic event should not be talked about so much as to believe this was a nation simmering.  Actually the nation at large is full of loving and kind people...I feel certain most people are good and would like to get their work done and get back to those they care about and to the things they enjoy.  Pockets of hate will exist in this world no matter what actions we take.  I value those that are so passionate about the current news but I truly believe the hateful people causing the tragedies simply lack those basics needs of love and home.  I'm not so smart as to know the solution of spreading love versus hate but I think it has something to do with starting at home and modeling to all you meet what is the difference in right and wrong, what is good and kind, what is helpful and loving to your neighbor and the strangers you pass daily.  I think it starts with empathy....understanding and listening to the other before you seek to be understood.  Blame and pointing and being the one that knows better simply leads to two more differences to argue about....how about looking for a win-win.  For today my win-win is I understand people are upset and I pray they can find some peace because they surely have work to be done that has nothing to do with the 24/7 news going on...they want to get home or take care of their home, eat something, love on their people and so forth......

My  Loves...in no particular order...and mainly pics from this last month with a few randoms of the year thrown in......


Nature at Antelope Island

My husband.....

Friends...

My littlest....

Messes/Art.....

Friends.....

Walks...

Seeing my boys love their pets....

Holidays and Traditions....

Sawyer...

Oh no....Chocolate.....

Random yummies with someone I love......

Adorable moments.....

Awww....my baby, Connor....

T-ball...

Planting pumpkins just for friends.....

My first baby......Tristan with the woman we all love, Nika....

Swinging...

Fishing.....

Jumping....

Achieving.....

Fun times!.....

Summer loving......


Fixing and improving.....

Celebrating...

Traveling....

Dreams becoming reality...

Making those memories...

Finding our joys....

My man taking care of us and getting us down to the basics....

Random happy moments.....

Ahhh....my peaceful babies....

Absolute, simple, joy....

Random silliness from my most favorite person.

Connor silliness....

My brave boy.....

The faces of wonder from their first fireworks.....

The wonder of magic from their Pop-pop....

A new interest?......

An expanding, diverse, awesome, instantly loved family....

Little boys......

Cousins....

Grandma time....

Travel memories.....

Hummingbird discoveries.....

Random Picnics....

Grandparents.....


Family....

Lottery dreaming with Pap-pap...

Pigging out Amish style....

Putt-putt....

3 generations.....


Friends turned family.....

Simple, awesome, beautiful times....

Long time friends...

Uncles going that extra mile.....

Games/Cheating Farkle players....

Chicken fights....

Boating.....

Not enough time....

Random beauty of a simpler time.....that's actually right here, right now.....

Powerful random storms that remind you how very small you are....

God showing off.....

So gorgeous....

Beautiful Architecture and time taken to stop and notice.....

Sawyer love....my middle baby....

Connor love...my living symbol of strength....

Celebrating a lifetime of love.....

Celebrating a new life to come...and praying this little one will always know he/she is loved beyond measure and has a beautiful purpose of belonging in this amazing world.