Friday, April 4, 2014

EUC Vest/BTC Exchange 2013

EUC Vest/BTC Exchange 2013

As I searched for a report that I’ve obviously not written, I have revisited and reflected on an exchange with EUC Vest that commenced in March, 2005 with my initial visit to Esbjerg, DK. Little did we know the consequences of these initial visits and the impact on our students and instructors at Bellingham Technical College (BTC) and EUC Vest.

In May of 2005 John Mortensen brought a group of students to the BTC welding rodeo and promptly won first prize for their welding sculpture in a general competition involving college students in the Pacific Northwest. We were off! In the late fall, closing in on Christmas, we reciprocated and traveled to Denmark for a memorable exchange at EUC Vest.

This year, 2013, we set about for an exchange that is now well defined. We have processes for participation better defined and codified. But each and every experience stands on its own. Every trip exceeds the expectations of the students and most certainly their instructors.

We did not set out in 2005 to see the largest diesel engine in the world (1962). We did not set out to see the very foundries that built these engines, nor in some cases the very foundries that mechanized the First and Second World Wars… We set out to learn the roots of our trades and crafts only to find them intermingled in the very history of the people and places we were inexorably now connected with by our exchanges.

All of our students in 2013 participated in on-the-job experiences at the work places of their Danish student hosts. All of them took me aside and thanked me for the opportunity that they had stumbled upon in their application to the exchange and their participation in it. They felt strongly that they would do whatever it took to perpetuate this exchange for future students of the Diesel and Welding programs at both EUC Vest and BTC.

The technical details of various welding processes, diesel engine technology were discussed and debated by the students from both countries and their instructors in a lively fashion the whole trip. And in fact, I even had a discussion with a student from the 2005 trip today…many of us all stay in contact; yes, including the Danish students and instructors. And their families…

This exchange has allowed a building of a community of learners that spans from the United States to Europe. We had little knowledge of this when we started this in 2005, almost 10 years ago. But at the very least, in my mind, there has been many technical issues discussed, theory debated, and language/cultural differences explored by all of us. We’re all different people because of this exchange. I’ll wager better World aware people at least. Though technical issues and education leads the exchange, I’ll wager that connections, pure people to people connections, are the most important outcome.

In education we ask many questions about outcomes. “What did we learn”, is a question often posed. We codify and parse our understanding of various societies. We discuss politics of the right, left, center and… But what do we see? I see that we’re all people in many of the same situations. Whether we’re Danish or American, we have many of the same needs and concerns in the world.

How do we measure these outcomes? Only time and the actions of our students will tell that.

And finally: This only happens because of the forethought of Inger & Jens Bruun and the Scan|Design Foundation that they created for the exchange of students from Washington State and Denmark. I often think of them looking down upon us in awe and wonder at what they created for students. Who knows if they had an inkling of the impact that this exchange has had on our students? And who knows the future impact on our two societies?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Job Opening ~ Bristol Bay, AK

Mr. Curtis,

I am with Alaska General Seafoods. We have a Plant located in Bristol Bay Alaska.
I am seeking a person or persons who may have a desire to work in the fishing Ind
We currently leave around the end of April and return the end of July. So there is some summer time left
to enjoy here. We work 7 days a week 11 hrs a day. So overtime is a must and a person can do pretty
well for pay. Bunkhouse living conditions but a room their self.

Looking for someone who can work on Rolling stock. We currently have Forklifts-Auto’s/Trucks  Geil Forklifts
Cranes  Spit boom and Cable. We have a small fleet of Military Deuces that we pick fish up off the beach with.
As well as helping maintain the commercial fishing fleet. They have a mix bag of gas and diesel rigs.

There is Welding that sometimes need to be done. Mig Alum and stick mainly.
So in a nutshell I am looking for a mechanical person who has the basic skills of Welding/Cutting/Drilling/Tapping/threading holes etc.

We are a union shop. Health care is provided for the year after working 450 hours. There is also an Employer contribute Pension Plan.

If you would like to know more go to our web site   and have a look.




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Job Opening

Diesel Mechanic
Maintains the proper and safe mechanical operation of all village vehicles and heavy equipment. Minimum three years as a professional mechanic and possess knowledge of automotive or heavy equipment. Requires ability to perform a wide range of mechanical work including: gasoline powered vans, buses and trucks; diesel powered vehicles and heavy equipment; air breaks, track vehicles, and hydraulic systems. This is a contract position. Salary and length of contract to be negotiated.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Open Letter to My Students

Pump Rotating Group by jcurtis4082
Pump Rotating Group, a photo by jcurtis4082 on Flickr.
I want to challenge you, the student, to consider what it is that you will do to be successful in this program. This has nothing to do with a "grade"; this has to do with success. I do not feel that the two are the same.

Recently I came across a letter by Kris Shaffer, a music professor, that resonates with me and my personal feelings about teaching and learning. Read it, won't you. Wherever it says "music" think diesel...