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How to safely ask curmudgeons for advice?


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"He seems to have passed the exams but failed to learn."

I am going to use that line! As a college level Instructor myself, I have run across a lot of folks who have grown older, but have not yet grown up. We have to take all of the students that sign up and pay tuition, with no voice in the matter. If they choose not to take notes, read the books, keep up with the handouts, or study for tests, well, they get the grade that they earned.

A corporate client showed up unexpectedly last week, and watched as another Instructor's students attempted to run his company's machines in a competent fashion. Visibly distressed, he went to the head man and complained that the students did not know what they were doing after 12 weeks of class. The Instructor agreed, and said that out of the whole class, there was one student worthy of the name. The rest of them were such incompetent slackers with poor attitudes that he would not hire them to rake his yard, much less recommend them for a job in the field. And they all think that they are geniuses that will get a job starting at $35/hour.

Elite military units, schools and businesses keep their elite status by screening out the under-achievers and wannabes in order to achieve a superior result. At the bottom end, there are work-arounds to allow the marginal worker to accomplish marginal work at marginal pay.

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not really Thomas, remember the thread we had a few years ago about how a "video on 'You-tube' said such and such" and when someone found a wikipedia post about it too,  that was proof that us working smiths must be wrong? 

It is almost funny reading a few reply';s here:

  • I see that on the one hand we are jerks if we do not answer a question. 
  • On the other hand we are jerks because we did not just avoid answering the question.
  • Many of the people making those statements never actually give out any information themselves, they only stir the pot about others posts then cry if we comment on it. 

It appears that many forums are like that... people post with out solutions, because they have a need for attention.  Telling us curmudgeons its our fault they are lazy and most their questions are lame.  They forget that we are providing a service,  we give honest answers, and when people want to get noticed,  we see to it that they are.  Then they complains about that too, there is no pleasing some types  lol

So the same thing here, rather than give information that may upset someone, we are expected to magically know what people want to hear and only tell them what they want to hear. they are allowed to be upset with us, but we may not upset their delicate feelings.

I think that I understand now, I will re-add my curmudgeon tag again...

Edited by Steve Sells
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ahh yes, a "one book wonder" though nowadays we might also call them a video game wonder or a youtube wonder.  (Do they still teach students how to evaluate a new source as to accuracy?)

​NO they don't anymore than they teach deductive (or any kind) logic. If they did so the kids might demand quality educations rather than just being throughput statistics.

Frosty the Lucky

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I was told by the boss at work that I am responsible for a blokes feelings (co-worker, long story), reply: no I'm not, his mother is!

​Next time s/he says something that silly tell him/er you're using aversion therapy to help them put their big boy/girl shorts/panties on.

I have to admit that didn't work so well for me. Having to explain to the multiple degree holding supervisor what "aversion" means kind of took the punch out of the remark. <sigh>

Frosty the Lucky

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Frosty, bit like asking for pre-shrunk heat shrink.... "What would you want pre-shrunk heat shrink for?" Wished you hadn't.

​To use as a straw to sip your dehydrated water of course.

Frosty the Lucky

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This may be slightly off course but I have been reenacting since my late teens and forging for the last twenty odd years.

In march I was at a big reenactment fair and I noticed that a lot of the old faces of the traders and crafts folk I looked to were missing - retirement, ill health, deceased etc.

I always thought of myself as a newbie but at that market I suddenly realised that myself and the folks who started the same sort of time as me were now the ones with the grey in their hair and we were steadily becoming the 'old hands'. even the ones I refer to as newbies are now in their forties.

Can anyone here tell me if there has ever been a break down of members ages on Iforge? 

I think what really saddened me besides the missing friends was that as I looked around there seemed to be more folks buying in to sell than actually making things themselves to  sell. 

Wayne

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  • 1 month later...

From the point of view of a newbie here, all I can say is that I think that you "old folks" are right.

Don't take it as a "Ok, you're right" kind of thing. I mean it in a deep, meaningful way. You Are Right, about what you've been talking in this thread. This place is SO filled with knowledge and advice that I can't imagine how I would do it without this site.

I'm new to this. Haven't even started, actually. I have been lurking this forum since December, and I only posted for the first time last week, when I felt I was kind of ready to actually begin. I'll be asking for help soon, because I lack a lot of skills and knowledge, not only those related to this craft, but also anything not related to PCs. Thanks to the people who posted in my introduction thread (especially Frosty), I have set a starting point to improve my skills, and I will be slowly walking up that path to more complicated projects, little by little.

But in my time reading this, I've come across so many "young people" asking the same questions, that even I felt embarassed. Just by reading a couple of stickies, those questions got answered 2 or 3 times, with varying amounts of detail.

And they can't say they "aren't familiar with how a forum works". No offense, but they (gamers and hardcore internet citizens) probably know about forums even better than all of you, so they know what a "Sticky" means and how to find it.

I don't want to make myself sound superior to other people my age. I'm stubborn, I tend to think "I know it all". Mainly when someone tells me "That won't work", I tend to say "Ok, I believe you, but I still want to try it".

I just hope that even though I'm as stubborn as anyone my age, I can still take my hat off in front of you all, ask for a glimpse of your knowledge, and know how to be grateful for it. Because thanks to this forum (actually, Thanks to the people in this forum), blacksmithing is within my reach. It's real, something that I can actually learn and do.

 

PS: So, tomorrow I'll be making my first 50 kg Titanium+Tungsten sword and quenching it in snow, tell me how to do it! D:<

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Okay, you pass Andres we'll stop talking behind your back now. <snicker>

All I can say is good luck trying to get titanium and tungsten to pattern weld on June 11th. especially that close to the equator the coriolis effect will swirl the flames and alter the differential in the pressor beam tongs. You DO have an unobtanium double cross pein hammer don't you?

Oh you're just making a joke aren't you? It's a well known fact you can only make that small a sword on the solstice.  You got me, I fell for it. :P

Frosty The Lucky.

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This may be slightly off course but I have been reenacting since my late teens and forging for the last twenty odd years.

In march I was at a big reenactment fair and I noticed that a lot of the old faces of the traders and crafts folk I looked to were missing - retirement, ill health, deceased etc.

I always thought of myself as a newbie but at that market I suddenly realised that myself and the folks who started the same sort of time as me were now the ones with the grey in their hair and we were steadily becoming the 'old hands'. even the ones I refer to as newbies are now in their forties.

Can anyone here tell me if there has ever been a break down of members ages on Iforge? 

I think what really saddened me besides the missing friends was that as I looked around there seemed to be more folks buying in to sell than actually making things themselves to  sell. 

Wayne

​Wayne: A few years ago I was drinking morning coffee with the counter culture boys in the local coffee shop when one asked where all the old timers were. We started reminiscing about the guys who moved to warmer climes, passed away, health wasn't letting them out and such. Then one of the boys came in and sat down, a young guy on his way to work who'd leave early to spend a little time and several of us realized WE were the old timers.

Seriously you could see the realization on probably 3-4 of our faces and we sat there looking at each other as the conversations flowed around us. A couple weekends ago I was invited to a fellow's place to check out coal he's been digging. It's really hard to get good smithing coal here, sure there's a mountain range of coal beds in view of where I'm sitting but you have to know exactly which seam in which old ditch. Well he's found one of the good seams and though I almost never use coal I was the only one there out of maybe 7 guys who knew diddly.

I show the host how to tune the air to conserve fuel and develop really high heat. Show a couple guys how to hold the hammer, how to strike to make the steel go where they wanted. It was kind of eerie being THE old timer.

In my heart of hearts I'm still that 20 year old kid who sold all his stuff and moved here 43 years ago. I'm not really the graybeard, an ELDER?

What say Wayne shall we sharpen up our whittling knives and pick a rocker on the porch? Naw, lets get together some time, swap lies over a beer and tricks and techniques over the anvil. We can have some good laughs telling the kids tall tales. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Frosty The Lucky.

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It is kind of strange when you start transitioning from one of the Young Turks to the Old Pharts;  of course with over 25 years of UNIX background wearing a beard and suspenders comes naturally...

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Be humble and direct and be willing to eat some crow and do some work.

I used to call Grant Sarver all the time and ask questions.    Often I would ask how he did a particular thing.   He would tell me he didn't remember.   I would then try it, have mixed results and call him back to explain what I learned.  He would then open up and lay it all out telling me exactly what I needed to know.     He wouldn't give you all the answers though until you tried to work it out on your own.

 

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Ditto, glad to see you posting again Larry. I HOPE you were just too busy to check in.

Agreed, once the student has tried a thing, you or someone you're instructing that is, you have a common experience base to support language. A person can NOT understand some things without feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, etc. For example what does, "Light blow" mean? 35mph wind? What weight hammer are you hitting with? On and on, without a common grounds of understanding it's just words.

This is exactly why I was so happy to see Brent's video and links to his Youtube site. It gives new comers an idea of what some terms mean and how to read them. It's still not forging a punch but it provides some clues.

I really miss Grant. <sigh>

Frosty The Lucky.

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Start off insulting his ancestry, the less PC the better. Then insult his intellect by telling him he should have listened when told not to sniff the solvent fumes.  Ask him when he is going to start his apprenticeship.  Then insult his wife and dog assuming they are not one in the same.  Then ask for a favor and tell him to hop to it.

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  Then insult his wife and dog assuming they are not one in the same. 

The dog is to guard/manage the flock....er harem and it would be rude to hint/infer  otherwise :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

A signature on IFI read

If someone questions your standards, they are not high enough.

 

I have seen it followed by

Before you lower your standards, buy a shovel. You will need it soon enough to lower your standards again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I certainly appreciate that you curmugdeons feel the need for this thread but I doubt that anyone of the targeted youngsters will read it. If they do not read threads directly answering their query why should they read this?

I think that you are a bunch of very kind and sometimes humorous people. I would probably show more irritation than you do if I had to answer the same question again and again.

I think that you do a wonderful job and I am very grateful. Someday I will even have time to show my bottleopeners, anvils, shop and perhaps contribute my own slant on the art of blacksmithing. In the meantime I am  only lurking and do the odd post wihout any pictures. By the way I am unable to see the pictures which are referred to by URLs. I get a 404 error Sorry we cannot find.... 

All the best

Göte

 

 

 

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