Affective Domain – Repost

Came across this old post from 2007 on blogger.com. Thought I would repost here.

Sweeping Floors
This story has more to do with affective learning than it does with good or bad lectures.

One of my many jobs while living in Hawaii on the island of Maui was installing wood floors and ceramic tile. I worked for an older Japanese/Filipino gentleman who had been in this line of work for numerous years and who gave free tennis lessons at the local community college on Saturday mornings.

I remember the first few months as being almost unbearable. He was a real stickler for details and would always have me go back over my work and redo things. One example was sweeping floors. Before installing a floor, we would prepare the subfloor and the last step was to clean away all debris. After installation, we would go through several rounds of sanding and sweeping before the floor was ready to seal. Needless to say, as the apprentice, I did a lot of sweeping. I would sweep and sweep . . . but it was never good enough. He would tell me to do it one more time. Eventually, he would grab the broom and starting from from the walls proceed in progressively smaller circles toward the center of the floor. No matter how many times I had been over the floor, he would come up with a embarrassingly not-so-small pile of dust. Damn.

And it wasn’t only sweeping. He was rarely satisfied with my other work and would calmly say it had to be redone. I remember fuming and cursing under my breath but I stuck with it. One big reason I didn’t just walk away was that he always seemed to give the same amount of attention to detail to his own work. And the feeling of accomplishment when we finished a job was unbelievable. I could look at the floor or kitchen counter and say, “Hey, I had something to do with that,” and “This is going to be here for some years to come.”

To make a long story short, I learned so much from this man and to this day have habits of checking and rechecking any work I do. I also view other people’s work more critically. Looking at this experience from an “affective” perspective, I am pretty sure I moved all the way up through Krathowl’s taxonomy.

Oh yeah, and I have my ex-boss to thank for my backhand in tennis.

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