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With any community people tend to come and go. The problem with searches is you may have a post from several years ago. I don't even recognize the people responding. I would much rather see a repeat question and see the responses from diver's who have been current and active who I recognize from recent threads. To me their opinions count much more than a 2005 post from a diver I don't know.
One thing I have learned in life, and yes I am a nube, is that human kindness and generosity goes a long way. Thank you to the fine and I'm sure highly experienced divers that have posted here today and for those who have chose to reamain silent. Your generosity will be noticed by someone and it will mean something to someone... Your efforts will save someone's life and I'm sure that is what is it all about...
You know what? I love being a newbie. I'm not ashamed of it one little bit. The dullest dive site is AMAZING to me because it's still a complete thrill just to be breathing underwater. I love learning, and to know that there is so much to learn ahead of me just blows me away. I'd say I can't wait, but actually, savoring every bit of it and not hurrying is my plan
I recently turned 40, and can't believe I left it this long to try. I feel like someone has handed me the keys to a magic kingdom. Where else in the wild can you go and be surrounded by so many wild animals so close to you? This weekend I swam with a leopard shark on my first dive and a manta ray on my second - my first time to see either of these animals. That was two nights ago, and I've dreamed about them both nights. That's how profound the experience was for me. This is something my life-buddy (wife) and I are doing together and it is so much FUN!
I might not have much to offer in terms of scuba knowledge, but that day will come I hope. In the meantime I will offer what I can, and write reports of the dive sites I try from a newbie's perspective, so other newbies can work out if they are of interest. I will be enthusiastic (maybe annoyingly so) and inquisitive and happy. Nobody is going to rain on my parade. It's not often you are given a whole new aspect of life to try out. I look forward also the the friendships I will make along the way.
There are some great folks here. TSandM is one of course (and gets props from me for assimilating a cupcake) but many of you complimenting her are a joy to read also. I hope I get the chance to dive with some of you one day. It would be an honor, and I'd try not to reduce your bottom time too much
So tell me, what has a newbie done for YOU lately?
Confirmed my long-held suspicion that ReefRaff is an ass. Thanks, Matt!
Just kidding, RR.
A decade ago I assumed management of a good sized trading operation on Wall Street. It soon became apparent to me that none of my traders felt free to ask questions, lest they appear inexpert. It was not an unfounded fear—every employee is always being evaluated, especially ones with the potential to cost you a lot of money. The way I approached the problem was by asking a lot of questions every day—stupid ones, that everybody would expect me to know the answers to. I would couch them in disclaimers like "just in case I've forgotten" or "tell me if I'm doing this right"—that sort of thing. It opened up conversations, reinforced concepts, and gave everybody the freedom to admit their ignorance from time to time. That's what the newbies do here—allow those of us wedded to a facade of expertise to revisit issues we may have skipped over, forgotten, etc.
I love newbies. As an instructor and as a veteran SB member, I strive to be a good mentor to these new divers.
In my former career I used to give mentorship development workshops around the world, and one of the topics I would explore at the start of each series was how the participants viewed the role of a mentor. Many, many people see mentoring as a way of imparting knowledge--in other words they see it as a one-way transmission with the mentor benevolently bestowing enlightenment and the mentee soaking up all this wisdom and undergoing all the growth. One of my main objectives in my workshops was to change that perception so that my mentors-in-training could see the process as transformative for both the mentor and the mentee. A seasoned diver who serves as a mentor--whether that be an instructor, a more experienced dive buddy, or a long-time SB member--can grow tremendously as a result of the mentoring relationship. S/he has the opportunity to hone facilitation and communication skills, is inspired to look into particular topics more deeply so as to be able to offer greater insight to the mentee, is challenged to reflect on his/her own practices, often adjusting them in light of new or updated information, learns how to be objective and explore what works for the mentee rather than simply insisting that the tried-and-true approach the mentor uses is universally correct, and so on. It can be enormously enriching for the mentor when a transformational approach is adopted.
I love newbies because they offer me the opportunity to be a mentor and to grow in my own development as a diver.
If there's one thing that I've noticed in this thread, and please excuse the possible over analyzing here, but what seems to be the point that a lot of you are making is that those that are new to the sport (myself included in this), tend to have an attitude of humility, and they are looking to learn from those who are more experienced. Outside of my Job that I do everyday working in an office for a telecommunications company, I am also in ministry working in a small church with about 30 people or so. I say this to bring a bit of background - certainly not one of total expertise, because if there is one thing that I've learned in life, is that life is a series of lessons so to speak. There is nothing that we can say that we've learned everything about. This attitude of humility is something that will cause anyone to grow - in whatever they might do, whether it be diving or something totally else. Truly the ones who excel in life are those who not only just continually learn, but also apply what they've learned.
Those who have quit learning and applying or think that they have the "holler than thou" attitude about whatever they do I believe, are in line to be shown that they do not know everything, and if they learn that lesson - can also be a very valuable asset to any community or anything that they are a part of.
Okay, now that I am getting off my soapbox, for those more experienced here who answer my totally newbie questions, I say a very heartfelt "thank you."
I had to chuckle a little bit when I read my OW manual for the first time and I came across the statement that in this sport, "there are no stupid or silly questions." When I'm training someone at my job, that's one of the very first things that I will tell them - in order to put them at ease.
I'm probably guilty of making some of the statements that the OP has called out. I'll posit the following:
1) No matter what level of diver you are - you ought to search and read before you ask anything. If you still have questions, framing the same old, same old in a new light will encourage folks to think and we'll all get to opine on the same old question in a new way (which will, inevitably devolve to the same thread eventually, but it will be fun up front).
2) If you're not constantly a newbie at something you're just getting old. Over a decade ago I was a new diver. Two years ago I was a new tech diver, in a year or two I'll be a new rebreather diver. What makes you relevant is your ability to do #1.
3) Newbies who ask questions before reading the answers that have already been provided will continue to get more and more abbreviated answers.
So tell me, what has a newbie done for YOU lately?[/QUOTE]
Asked me a bunch of questions, both with regards to diving and gear, which has made me keep things a bit fresher in mind or forced me to look it up, as well as putting a couple of minutes into researching specific gear choices Im unfamiliar with every now and then.
Originally Posted by mathauck0814
This is a terrible example. Snowboarding is so simple, even a snowboarder can do it!
Well you CLEARLY was not one of the people standing next to the kinked box rail when I was able to get the frontside of the board caught in the wood, with the resulting faceplant. Fortunately missed the rail with the face, but it cost me a broken wrist that took nearly 8 months to fully heal..
And of course it looked like I had shaved my face with a grating iron..