Archive for December, 2011

The pin goes in WHAT direction?

Monday, December 26th, 2011

I recently heard a story that made me think about learning fundamental knowledge early in life. This gentleman who is quite handy by trade was at a neighbour’s going-away party. When he was about to leave he noticed the hinges on the front door had lots of tape on them. He inquired and the owner said that the tape was there because the pins were always falling out. Upon further inspection he comes to realize that the owner had put the pins in with the round head below the hinge rather than above.

If you really think about it, objects and structures are made out of a small number of materials (wood, metal, plastic, tile, composites) and are subject to just certain forces (gravity, water, temperature, wind, sunlight) . This may be a simplistic analysis but the principle is that whatever we learn when we are young building small projects, we can apply later on in life dealing with more complex systems such as our homes.

After hearing that story, my wife said she might have made the same mistake but after seeing the pin fall out, she would have pondered the dilemma and then tried putting the pin in at the top. When hands-on activities are part of your education and practice making mistakes is expected but that forces you into finding a solution. A lifetime of tinkering means a lifetime of learning.