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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1314
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 08:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Cincinnati, OH

We must be continually on the watch to reject “sporadic diligence”! An oxymoron, or mutually exclusive phrase, that still is something we engage in and must be more careful about.

For example, with all the looney-tunes on the highways, we cannot afford to pay attention only on occasion. As we walk down the sidewalk in construction areas, walking around one open hole is fine, but better be on watch for the next! See what I mean? This plays, too, in the pattern of "once is enough” and “over and done”-- and the ever popular, “Oh, we did that ONCE, we needn’t do it again”. Oh, yeah? Me thinks we need to re-visit convenient outs that we award ourselves.

How about consistency, diligence and continuity? Now, there are three dandies that we should be utilizing more often and with deeper dedication in many areas. Our human inability to produce perfection means that we really do need to watch over things ALL THE TIME. Our world changes too often and far too drastically and of course, we all are not ever on the same page-- neither are those coming along in our profession [and those allied].

We falsely calm ourselves by doing something-- once-- and then sitting back and admiring what we did; hopefully forever. But no go! We, as you well know from other ventures, need to update, renew, refresh, revise, repeat, re-adjust [after adjusting] and refurbish. Little is forever and we need to overcome our own and our collective [organizational] tendencies to take a position and stop any further action or thought.

Education is an excellent example. It is a step-by-step progression where what is taught is “layered” in such a way that what is first taught is augmented with the next level of instruction; then the next and the next, etc. [and with numerous other topics added for breadth of education]. And it is structured so you simply cannot start the progression in the middle of the sequence-- one layer builds on the former. Teaching at any level and in any venue is really a matter of repetitive information, with doses of added information to upgrade and augment what has gone before. One math is based on and derived from another-- structural formulas come from the roots of calculus [icky-pooh!]. But good examples-- if you don’t understand the how-comes, you will never have much regard for the here’s-hows! And this is applicable from all levels of education-- we do; we add; we add; and yes, we add again. Not in the old style of memorization, but in the modern approach of upgrading and informing to just stay abreast of what is happening around us.

In that, though, we need to recognize that oftentimes we do need to re-do early education for newcomers who need the foundation work before they move to the more complex and more involved and delicate. Entry level will remain entry level-- you will never get to the place where you can merely just walk in, at any level, and do the work properly and productively. We have to continually fill the void of early-on knowledge-- that which is too often overlooked if not forgotten by us and others, since it is not all that visible and seemingly not all that useful-- until you don’t have it!

Perhaps the best way to avoid voids is not to create them in the first place. Inanimate things do not self-perpetuate and are not in perpetual motion-- they need tending to. Here it is our oversight, diligence and adjustment to changed conditions that is vital, not only to maintain but to upgrade and augment as may be necessary. This should in no way stop us from doing things in fear of having to keep them going-- it merely should put us on alert that doing and abandoning is not an acceptable course of action.

Despite having expert instruction and the best of texts, one still must possess a flexible and deep well of basic knowledge. This is then used to expand the total array of useable information. This is not a pick-and-choose situation and neither is it the place for sporadic selection of short terms instruction with no link to other courses and information. Too many very unfortunate situations are in place in many areas of education and instruction.

More and more people are seeing and realizing that overall and complete professional education is a mirage-- no one single agency is in full control, and the agencies are really not all that beholden to each other-- no consensus. Education for professionals is disjointed and projects more and more short shortcomings as tie progresses. If you consider CSI as starting at the mid-point of the sequence, and moving with strong insight and expertise, you see the problem-- few are teaching meaningful practice, construction materials and methods and documentation.

Eventually [is it possible????] we will come to the time where specs continue [!] but drawings disappear because no one knows what or how to put anything on them!

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