The Wrong Tool for the Job

Ontario Extend 9x9x25 Post #4

Well it’s vise grips for pliers, and pliers for a wrench
A wrench for a hammer, hammers everything else

~Corb Lund, Hard On Equipment

This past weekend I struggled through trying to fix a couple things that should have been simple around the house. It involved drywall, screws, anchors, towel racks, curtain rods, and a hammer of course. You always need a hammer, right?

It eventually involved hanging a small painting to cover up some holes. I quite like how it turned out.

I did not quite have the right tools for the job on hand. Happens all the time. I don’t have a huge tool box. I tend to struggle to get the job done without running to the hardware store to get the right tool. Am I wasting my time? Probably.

But I get the feeling that without struggling with the wrong tools, I would never know that euphoric feeling of finally using the right tool for the right job. If I was just handed the right tool and told what to do, I wouldn’t appreciate what had been accomplished.

I think this relates well in ed-tech. I have spent a lot of time using technological tools to try to enhance learning experiences. Through that experience and without naming names, I have come to think that some tools are pretty crappy at it and others work quite well.

I wouldn’t know why I don’t think certain tools are the right answer without having experienced them first. I guess what I’m saying is, get in there and experience tools, try them out. Be hard on the equipment. It’s okay if you bend or break some stuff on your way. But try to recognize when you might be trying to fix a leak in your roof with a 2×4.

I’m not saying don’t seek out the advice of those who’ve been there before you, I just think it’s hard to truly buy into something like (for example) a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) initiative, without spending time in someone else’s first. You won’t have the “this is the right tool” warm-fuzzies without first having the “this is the wrong tool” cold-roughies.

A little struggle can go a long way.

“Līgo 2013 (19)” flickr photo by Janitors shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

2 thoughts on “The Wrong Tool for the Job”

  1. Thanks for sharing your post, Clint! I’m a total bike maintenance hack but like to try here and there as well.

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