Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Trainee Makinzi Rutledge for October’s Behind the Scenes series, brings to attention the importance of understanding how much is learned by asking questions as well as the responsibility to acknowledge if the answer makes sense.
Just like all the others before me, I was asked to pick a question from a group of questions. The question I chose was:
“Are you afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand something? For example, do you sometimes fake a laugh when you don’t understand a joke?”
This question, to me, asks if I know that it’s okay not to know everything. I know that I don’t, that’s for sure, so I believe it’s okay to ask questions. The reason is because it’s always better to know something for sure than to maybe know (and maybe not know all of it and maybe even be wrong). Sometimes though, I am still afraid to ask questions.
To me, as a trainee, this question asks, “Are you ready to learn? Can and will you learn well?” To learn you not only have to listen you have to ask questions as well and to really understand, sometimes you just have to ask more than once and if someone is really trying to teach you, they won’t get frustrated… to easily. If I were a guide I would think this is a good question to ask yourself and others. I would want people to ask me questions if they didn’t know or understand because I like to help and I have patience so I wouldn’t be a jerk when answering.
I am sometimes afraid to ask questions, and it’s mostly because of my age. I’m 14 and everyone around me is at least in their 20s and I don’t want to be seen as a little kid who doesn’t know anything and can just be put aside. I need to work on asking when I don’t understand, though I’m getting better and will continue to do so.
This question relates to Alaska Guide Training because to ask questions is to learn and training, any kind of training, involves learning. And this question brought guide training to mind because I am constantly learning, being taught, and asking questions.
The question, “Are you afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand something? For example, do you sometimes fake a laugh when you don’t understand a joke?” matters to me because for a lot of people, myself included, asking questions is hard, to admit you don’t know something can be hard, and it shouldn’t be. I want to be able to ask questions without being put down because I didn’t know or understand. Even when the person I’m asking doesn’t make me feel stupid, I make myself feel stupid for not knowing and having to ask in the first place. But everyday I’m getting better about asking questions because I’m learning that the people I’m learning from aren’t going to make fun of me.
I hope other people can learn and come to accept the same thing.
~ What a wonderful day it will be for us all, to be able to freely share in the knowledge what each of us has to offer.