Monday, March 2, 2015

#38 Take a Home Depot Workshop - COMPLETE

Saturday my friend Erin and I met for breakfast at Denny's. We ate our grand slams quickly, thanked our server who'd helped us get our order in and turned around pronto, and headed to Home Depot for our Basic Electrical Skills workshop.

We chose the class because Erin had real life questions to answer about how to do some basic electrical jobs in her house, and I wanted to face down my fear of electrocution.

Both objectives were met and then some.

Home Depot wasn't prepared for us, but their staff were very attentive and made it happen. We were introduced to Jim, a retired electrician. He was full of information, and we helped quell his frustration about his lack of preparation by peppering him with our questions.

We were also joined by Steve from India, a dad with two boys who regularly attends the Saturday kids workshops. Steve and I talked while Jim and Erin addressed her questions about installing ceiling fans.

Steve is handy and adventurous about trying to do the work himself, but he too has a fear of electrocution, so he came for some tips.

We have an out-of-reach and expired smoke detector that is going to require my help in updating. So I promised that I would help after I gained some confidence in this class. When I asked what exactly this smoke detector was going to require of me, Caroline, Jim's assistant, walked away and came back with a smoke detector. She took it out of the box and Jim, Caroline, and Steve talked me through the process.

It was fun to make a new friend and to watch my friend Erin get her questions answered. I was proud of her interest and willingness to learn.

I learned how to replace an outlet and its basics:
*what the ground wire looks like
*black wire on brass
*white wire on silver
*how to strip the wire, wind it around the screw, and tighten the screw
*a 100 watt bulb uses 1.1 amps of power

I learned there is a youtube video for just about anything. I also learned just exactly how much I do not know about electrical things, but also basic things about safely handling electrical projects. I'm not so intimidated, and will now feel less apprehensive if something comes up or burns out. The Knowledge is Power aspect of this Saturday's class is the greatest takeaway.

Check out Home Depot's website for upcoming classes. The classes are offered nation wide. I am signing up for the How to Install Tile class on March 21 because we have a tile problem in our laundry room that has long been ignored, and I'd like to know how to fix it. These classes are also helping me peel away my fear of not trying something simply because I don't know how to do all of it or might make a mistake. I've let a lot of opportunities pass me by because of that ridiculous fear. I'm done with that. I'm not wasting any more time with that nonsense.

I'm excited to cross off another item from the 4040 list. Since the attendance varies, it means you may often receive one-on-one instruction—a perfect learning environment.