Chaos Attraction

Auto Mechanics Class, Week Three

2014-04-16, 10:18 a.m.

Previous week here.

This week was about changing the oil. Four people (my car buddy being among them, as he borrowed another friend's car--I wonder if he will have a different one from week to week? Must have really nice friends :) were going to change their oil and the rest of us were going to help/watch them do it in packs.

Okay, I'm going to derail here for a minute to rant about one classmate. Everyone in class is super nice and helpful and friendly except for this one dude, who I shall call Brian Krakow for reasons you can figure out if you ever watched My So-Called Life. He was the one mentioned from last week who doesn't own a car. I am seriously wondering why the hell he paid $90 to be in this class because I have my doubts (to put it lightly) as to why he is here.

I showed up at class early and he was sitting around behind some lockers. I assumed he'd just showed up before the room was open and said, "hey, the room's open if you wanna go in." He didn't really say anything because he was totally absorbed in his iPhone and headphones. I was all, "whatever," and went into class. Dude eventually went into the room but had his headphones in for like the first hour of class and was kinda intermittently involved with the iPhone. Okay, so he could have had the tunes off, but it seemed a little strange.

But what really got to me was him announcing that his glasses had broken, so he couldn't drive. I said, "Awkward," because it IS awkward (again, to put it lightly) to be in a car class and be unable to drive. Or own a car. And he just RIPPED ME A NEW ONE for saying that, because he apparently doesn't like that word. What the FUCK? That was such an out-of-proportion response that I was thinking, "Okay, so you're a douchebag, and I am getting the hell away from you." Then he was all, "But I can still see up close." Great, but that doesn't really help you bring a car into class to work on, dude. He spent the rest of the class either literally standing around or sitting around doing jack squat, and then he walked out early. Seriously, I do not get what the hell he is doing here if he's not into cars, doesn't own one, and can no longer drive someone else's car there. Though I kinda suspect that he wouldn't bring a car even if he could, somehow. Weird.

Back to actual car talk: as you might recall from last week, I needed to fix half of my car lights. A fellow at Napa helped me out with this. Except things got confusing. While everyone was doing the oil changes, the teacher had me move my car into the garage and would periodically pull me away from the action to deal with my car. Except:

(a) The headlight on the front that was out? It's perfectly fine now. Don't know WHY it's fine, but now it's totally fine!

(b) The back light that got fixed? Wasn't fine. He wasn't happy with it and monkeyed around with it and had me get in the car and turn the lights on (which is why I really don't know what the hell he was doing back there, couldn't see or hear that from the driver's seat) and he said the wrong lightbulb was bought...again. Then he found a spare bulb in the car and put that on and said everything was fine. I AM CONFUSED. But at least the lights work and hopefully I won't get ticketed for that when I am driving at night? Ugh, I hate being confused. I don't want to be one of these girls, but... yeah, I seriously don't really know what was going on there.

As for the oil changing, I only got to see it intermittently. My car buddy's car this week had very brown and oily oil that shocked people. Someone was under there positioning the pan to catch the oil while my buddy unscrewed the cap and eventually the oil filter. The teacher gave a lecture on washers vs. gaskets and how gaskets work, so we were to make sure everyone got a new gasket rather than a washer because the gasket will contract to fill the space and has little "teeth" on it. Because of getting pulled away to not do things with my car, I missed the part where he put in the new filter and gasket, but did see the oil being pulled in.

I felt kind of weird about it because I didn't really get to do much of anything this time other than look under cars and talk to people and monkey around with mine. The girl who got her oil changed was REALLY proud of herself afterwards and said it made more sense when you were doing it yourself. I kinda wished I had done that. I know it's ridiculous to change the oil before I quite need to--another girl and guy and I got bored and decided to check my dipstick at some point and the oil looks just fine, thanks--but I wished I'd had that "I did it myself" satisfaction, even if I never change oil again. I could theoretically do it in a later class, but it really isn't going to be driven another thousand miles any time within the next month, so...I dunno.

Next week we are to do tune-ups. We don't need to bring anything to class, we'll just rotate 'em all in and out. Oh, and he has now picked out the third and fourth Thursdays for makeup classes...which I still can't do. Grrr.

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