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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Shado

Class: M-R, 5:50-10:30 pm; 20 students

I walked in at 5:45 to a small, silent room filled with lounging boys avoiding eye contact with each other around a U-shaped table. My instructor came in shortly after that and introduced himself. “My name is Mr. Shado. You may call me Mr. Shado. Or Sir.” It didn’t take him long to acknowledge the token female (yours truly) as “the girl.” After roll call (we have an Earl, a Jeffrey, Brandon, Robert, Paul, David, and even two Jameses -- names will be changed later once I get to know them a little bit), he told us a little about himself (for, like, 30 minutes). He’s an old Detroit car guy who asked me if it was alright if he said “you guys” instead of “y’all” and I assured him that it did not offend. He reminds me a lot of my father.

During our introductions, I conceded the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ll just be happy if I can keep up with everyone else.

Mr. Shado: “Did you ever take stuff apart when you were a kid?”
Me: “Well, um, sometimes.” I lied.
Mr. Shado: “Did you get it to work after you took it apart?”
Me: “Um, well, most of the time.” I lied.

We proceeded to go through the 6-page syllabus line by line, commentary interspersed throughout (“I remember when...” “Is anyone familiar with...” “When I worked on the F-series...,” etc.). He asked if everyone knew what a carberator is and everyone (except me, of course) nodded. I reached over to my 1700-page, 92-lb text book and looked in the index. Carberator... carberator... carberator... NO CARBERATOR! I have since come to understand that it’s actually spelled “carbUrEtor” and they aren’t used in cars anymore (hence, no mention in the index). I’d still feel better if I understood it, though. Must do some research. Anyone got an easy explanation?

Overall, a lot of words I didn’t understand (throttle, alternator, 3-phase AC generation, plus many more that I have already forgotten). I’m in a little over my head. But that’s OK. It was fun and kept my attention (unlike the kid in the back of the class who fell asleep after the first 45 minutes).

We never touched an actual car.


  1. I tried to read this so I too could be informed, but then my mind turned to mush. lol

    I love the update! And totally could hear you saying "well, sometimes!" :)