Your engineer is always learning – it’s one of his core values.
Now, hold on there. You’re thinking “How much learning can he get from reruns of old cartoons?” These cartoons were designed to keep adults mildly amused while instilling key values in our children. Your engineer needs those values reinforced regularly due to the stresses he faces in his life caused by actually having to get along with people.
Emotionally based stress should be managed with a developmentally appropriate combination of humor, insight and reflective learning. Given your engineer’s 12 year old emotional development, shows like Bugs Bunny, The Road Runner, Pinky & the Brain, even Spongebob Squarepants make ideal candidates!
Just think. These characters are trying to get along in the world – which is usually hostile. Things look bad, but the good guy wins in the end! What’s not to like? This continual enforcement of “being good pays in the end” is critical to keeping your engineer positive, and may be all that prevents depression over the sorry state of his social life!
Don’t be too harsh on your engineer – he needs to get his social development however he can – and most adults can’t be bothered to help!
Now, move away from social stresses, and the real learning machine comes to light. Your engineer will read, and probably memorize, just about anything put in front of him – from cereal boxes to prize winning novels. There’s no pride like having a husband who can recite all the ingredients and the nutritional elements in your children’s Crispy Crunch – even if he hasn’t got a clue why any of them are actually important (he can always learn THAT later)! He’s a bit like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man!
Left to his own devices in a book store, he’s likely to pick one of the following:
- Science fiction – a vision of a future where engineers are respected and valued members of society who have made wonderful things happen is a powerful magnet to your engineer. He can see his life finally getting better!
- Biographies – heroes are an important emotional anchor to your engineer. They are likely to come from science, politics or sports worlds.
- Spy thrillers – the hero travels the world without regard to cost, socializes with beautiful people, and is desirable to the opposite sex – everything your engineer doesn’t have in his life. Your romance novel is his spy thriller.
- Mysteries – largely escapist and set in wonderful locations – there just are not a lot of murder mysteries set in Des Plaines.
- Technology – how to do something new always fascinates the engineering mind – even if it will never be applicable to anything in his life. Knowledge should be acquired for its own sake – one never knows when an obscure fact will come in handy
- Fantasy worlds – Lord of the Rings! What else can we say!
- Puzzles and games – distract the mind!
Escapist? Yes! Life is hard for your engineer! He doesn’t want to have to work through a book that reminds him of his personal woes. (and yes, that goes for movies as well).
How can you change his taste in books and movies? Read the post on Emotional Intelligence. If you decide to make the effort, prepare for the changes to take years. The good news is that we know of (a precious few) engineers who have learned to actually enjoy books that talk about how people connect with the world around them – you know, real literature! You might just have one of the few!
We’re told some engineers actually saw The Piano, but we can’t verify this – we’re certainly not that far along the path to emotional enlightenment ourselves!
Enjoy your engineer, and keep him learning!