Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Dad is an Engineer - SOLC #11

My dad is an electrical engineer.  His entire career was spent working at the Westinghouse Aerospace division in Lima, Ohio.  He actually designed the generator for the first Boeing 707.  Some people credit the Wright Brothers for flight; I think my dad had a little part in it as well.

I can't remember a time when there weren't multiple pads of chart paper lying around our house, ready for a list, an idea that needed to be fleshed out, the plans for our garden (or whatever the home project was at the time), or a diagram of something on which he was designing for work.

Thanksgiving is not even immune from the ever-present graph paper.  My parents love to host our family for this holiday, and for years, my dad has been charting out what needs to get done the week of Thanksgiving, two days before Thanksgiving, a day before Thanksgiving, and the actual holiday -- those lists and charts guarantee that dinner will turn out just the way he wants.

Well, it turns out the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.  No, you can't credit me with flight, but when it comes time to plan what needs to get done before an upcoming event, well I'm entirely in my element.  Recently, I realized I had multiple fun events and work requirements that were all dovetailing within a few weeks of each other.  It was time to do some planning -- plot out when my deadlines were, and then backtrack whatever process I would be using to meet those deadlines. 

On the fun side, I had a girls' weekend starting March 8, and then we were leaving for spring break around noon on March 22.  My work commitments involved preparing for two sessions where I co-presented at the Dublin Literacy Conference, grading piles of writing from my students, inputting grades, writing comments on 52 progress reports by March 11, and getting notes prepared for 42 parent-teacher conferences by March 14.  I was a woman who needed a plan, and my dad had shown me the way over the last 50-something years.

I chuckled when I looked at how many planning calendars and lists have cluttered my table and counter lately.  I had a calendar with all the dates on them, and I had daily to-do lists.  None of my work was done neatly on graph paper, but all my papers served their purpose and helped me keep my eye on the ball of what needed to be done.

 Thank goodness my dad is an engineer and has taught me how to plot out action plans!! :)

Thanks to Ruth and Stacey for hosting us again for the Slice of Life Challenge.  Head on over there to find out what other "slicers" have to say each and every day.


  1. Maybe that's where I get my penchant for making lists and planning. My dad is an engineer too. He was a mechanical engineer and guess what? He worked for a company that supplied Boeing. (I don't know what they supplied Boeing with, but it was something).

  2. My husband is a civil engineer and also loves making lists. Come to think of it, I do too.

    Where are you going for Spring Break?

  3. I love your charts. I make lists all the time, but only had to resort to something like that to get my thesis for my 6th year into shape. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the way you connected your story to your dad's. I think these kinds of connections are powerful and I love to read about them.

  5. Can you come help me plot an action plan? It's no wonder you get so much accomplished.