Afraid to show your ignorance? Don’t be…

I was just sitting outside, visiting with my hubby. He always give me a little bit more hubby-time before he watches OU (University of Oklahoma) football for five hours or so (like later today). We were shooting the breeze, talking about everything under the sun, and I happened to remember a class I took 12 years ago when we first moved to Oklahoma City from California:

I had just gotten a new job in a civil engineering firm, and they were offering to send interested employees to a class at the state college. It was about the history of engineering surveys in Oklahoma. I was really excited to sign up for that class since I wanted to do good on my new job, plus, who wants to turn down free job training?

Anyway, once I was in the class, I was very intimidated. First, I was the only woman in the class. I’ve been in the engineering world, (starting at draftsman and working up to civil engineering technician) for over 30 years. When I first started, there were hardly any women. There are more women in engineering now, but some men never have learned to fully except a woman in their world.

So, first I felt intimidated that I was the only woman. In addition, I realized from talking to other students, that I was apparently the only one who did not have field experience in surveying. I had been at a drafting desk, and then at a computer, but never in the field, except one day as a rodman.

I felt totally out of my league, right from the start. But, learning is fun for me, so I paid attention, took notes and asked questions. It was really embarrassing, though. I was the only one who ever asked a question. Wow, everybody knew this stuff but me.

I was very happy that the teacher was patient with me and answered the questions fully. He never seemed to mind that I was taking up the class’s time.

So, six weeks (or so) went by, and finally it was time for the final exam. There were history questions and math questions. I just did the best I could.

After the final exams were graded and the course grades given out, the teacher came to talk with me for a minute. He told me that I had the highest grade in the final exam, and the highest grade in the class!


It turns out that the men were apparently too worried about showing each other their ignorance, and ended up not learning much!

So, the moral of this story is:

Don’t be afraid to show your ignorance; it’s the only way you are going to learn.

(I just googled that to make sure I was the first one who said it)


Hmm. What category to put it in…I like school, so I’m going to put it in entertainment….

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Filed under Entertainment

7 responses to “Afraid to show your ignorance? Don’t be…

  1. Diana

    I agree. I ask questions. Sometimes it becomes eight down annoying *lol*. Anyway, you go girl! 🙂 I observe that to get to the top in a male dominated world (not the whole world, just some parts of it), the woman has to be smarter (generally) than average. While men can still be at the top with only average intelligence. They have nothing to prove. That is why I usually admire successful female politicians.

  2. X-Evolutionist

    Diana Le, It sounds like you understood what I mean! One funny thing about being a woman in a traditionally male job is that people always assumed I was the secretary! And if that is not bad enough, men in my department would want me to answer the phone. I said fine, as long as we all take turns with it…. X

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