Angela, My Mechanic
Angela, My Mechanic
"Alvah, meet your mechanic, Angela," Bobby said.
|20-year old mechanical student Angela Craig goes where few men dare to venture, the injector pump.|
A pretty, dark-haired girl wearing a baseball cap and safety glasses dropped her tools and gave me a firm handshake.
"She's a straight A student," Bobby assured me. "Your engine is in good hands."
I didn't need assuring. Within three sentences of conversation, I knew I was dealing with a tough, competent, and driven young woman.
Angela Craig is 20 years old. Originally from Fairbanks, her family now lives in the small city of Cordova, Alaska. She grew up a tomboy, enjoying hunting and fishing, but her real passion is Kung Fu.
She enrolled in AVTEC because "I like working with my hands," she told me. "Diesel technologies are fun, and there's no dead end. You can go in a lot of directions."
Her chosen direction is north. "If someone offered you a job as an engineer on a super-yacht in sunny Mexico, would you go?" I asked.
"No way," she answered . "I'm an Alaska girl. I want a job on the North Slope. There I can save enough money to travel. I have already traveled England, Greece, and throughout the States, but I want to travel more."
Angela scolded me a little for my obviously irregular engine maintenance, but let me off the hook regarding the broken oil scraper ring. "That wasn't your fault," she said.
I asked her how she felt she would do in what was once considered a man's domain. "The guys here are cool," she said, "but you have to pull your weight." She felt she needed to reiterate that. "It is always about pulling your own weight."
And no doubt this Alaska girl will. I told her that her work may be on engines but it is for people. In our case, that good work translates into our safety and perhaps even our survival. If we make it all the way to New Zealand without breakdown, we will officially name our engine Angela in her honor.