I had an opportunity to be a Judge at the SkillsUSA competition on Saturday. I ran a station that was used in both the Heating and HVAC/R competitions, so I had something like eleven kids come through. They were all great. Some were more skilled than others, but that’s to be expected. I did not have a single kid give up and they all ended up solving the riddle of my station–plugged pressure switch. I will confess to being less ‘judgy’ than maybe I should have been, but the guidelines were vague at best. And maybe I did give the kids prompts and advice when they needed it, but I didn’t want anyone to go away discouraged. I still scored them appropriately and looking at the winners on facebook, I think the right kids won. The Kent Career Tech Center took 1st and 2nd in HVAC/R and the top three spots in Heating, and it’s nice to see the local team do so well.

I enjoyed talking to the kids and telling them about my experiences in the field. They didn’t seem to hate me, so I guess that’s a win. I don’t know that I want to spend all my saturday mornings volunteering, but it was a fun and interesting start to the day… even if I didn’t get my free lunch because they ran out of sandwiches before I got down to the caffertia.

On a related note, I’ve decided to give up soda, pop, sugar-water, whatever you want to call it. Today was day one, let’s keep track and see how long this lasts.