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Not Doing Nothing

Doing nothing is an option. Even when things are going bad, and something must be done, doing nothing is still an option. It may not be the best option, but it is still an option. I watched a student put together a circuit with a light emitting diode. The funny thing about LEDs, they need some resistance or they will burn out. I said this many times in class. I watched a student put a LED into a circuit without a resistor. I knew he was about to turn the LED into a small campfire, and did nothing. He connected the two power leads to the power source. I had the chance to say “Stop, don’t kill my innocent LED!” He reached for the power switch to turn on the power. Still I said nothing. With a short “POP!” and a bright flash of light, the LED was gone. The student looked surprised, while the folks around him laughed. The lab fee would pay for the 10 cent LED, which was the cost of doing nothing. The reward for doing nothing was a lesson learned about LEDs. The Lions did nothing this weekend during their Bye-Week and maintained their current record, a victory of sorts. Doing nothing is sometimes the better option.

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3 Responses to Not Doing Nothing

  1. Avatar
    Rob Weiler November 16, 2015 at 9:14 PM #

    Brian,
    So then did you tell the student why the LED blew up or did he need to find that out by himself?

    • Avatar
      Brian Sweeney November 16, 2015 at 9:37 PM #

      He knew why immediately. He just needed the reminder.

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    Michele Howard November 17, 2015 at 12:56 PM #

    This is such a great reminder. I once learned a similar lesson in the exact way. I remember being angry that the person that watched me make a mistake, but I never made that mistake again. Sometimes failing is succeeding!

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