MWF Certificate Course - Day One


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Metalworking FLUID Certificate Course

Day One


John Fischer

November 2007:

Day One:  Woke up and made my way to the lobby.  Don’t count on this place for breakfast.  I’ll do Denny’s tomorrow.  Got to the seminar 15 minutes before it started and I was the last guy there.  Tough crowd.  They gave big notebooks with copies of all the slides.  I won’t need the PC so I packed it.  The guy next to me is working on his and he isn’t taking notes.  I might have to rat him out.

We’ll we’re finally underway.  Bob Gresham gives the obligatory intro.  He tells us there are no dumb questions.  I’m thinking he hasn’t heard any of mine yet.  He is a very personable guy and very knowledgeable.  These STLE guys are usually either smart or funny, but Bob has both going for him.

A guy named John starts us out.  He’s a very good presenter.  We are covering the very basics in the morning.  Neil Cantor takes the torch halfway through and starts burning through the slides.  If he went any faster it would have qualified as a motion picture.  Fortunately, I boned up on that stuff last night.  I recommend you do the same.  At the end I asked Neal if knowledge of the chemical names was required for the CMFS Exam.  He replied with something equivalent to “Well...duuhh.”  I had been here less than three hours and I've already impressed my classmates by proving the professor wrong.  Apparently, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Lunch time:  The food is good, but somebody accidentally ordered off the kids menu.  More like a snack for me.  Afterwards, I made my way to the snack room.  When I get back with my peanuts, they announced that anyone wishing to go to the snack room must be accompanied by an employee.  Everyone is looking at me.  I don’t care.  I have peanuts.   They don’t.

Fred Passman starts the afternoon off with microbiology of metalworking fluids.  Fred is another guy that actually has a lot of personality for a nerd.  He lightens things up with some much needed comic relief.  The material is in depth, but by no means too deep.

Updated/Corrected Skinny on the Test:  Fred straightened me out.  There is already a test for the course on the last day, which tests your knowledge of the course materials.  Pass rate is a reasonable 70% or so.  This is very different from the CMFS Certification Exam, and only 1/3 as long.  That is the one everybody bombs.  That test goes far beyond the course, testing your experience.  Get this.  I'm told there's a third exam.  It is given just for fun, at the beginning of the course, before you have learned anything.  This test is intended to show you just how stupid you are before the class.  Then, when you take it again (hopefully doing better) they can show you how much you learned.  OK.  But this time, they are giving the first test the second day.  I asked Bob "Why?"  He explained that everybody failed it when they gave it the first day.  I asked him “Won’t that make it look like we didn’t learn anything?”  He said “It might” with a big smile.  It’s hard not to like Bob.

We took a plant tour and had a couple of drinks at a nearby country club.  Very cool.  The place was plantation style.  Just what I have always imagined for a southern golf country club.  Afterwards I went to dinner with three of the guys in the class.  This was actually a lot of fun.  When we got back we were walking in the hotel when we realized that our designated driver had driven off with our computers and course books in his trunk.  Cool.  I guess I have the night off.