Teacher’s Previous Jobs – Mr. Winschel

Mr. Winschel

Mr. Winschel

Kiki Majerac and Eva Kynaston

What was an interesting previous job before teaching? 

The last full-time job I held prior to teaching (and during my first two years of teaching) was as a lab technician at a place called Geotechnical Testing Services. I had given up hope of getting a teaching job in the area, and substitute teaching was not providing a stable income, so I got out of the teaching field altogether.


What was it like? 

I worked with soil samples all day long. We essentially acted as an independent lab for civil engineering companies who needed to know the various traits of the soils on which they were operating while doing whatever it was that they were doing. I got to roll dirt into little worms, shake it down into its various component parts, compact it with hammers into tight cylinders, run water through it under various pressures, bake it in ovens, mix it up into various states of muddiness, weigh it on scales, etc. It was a good time.


Do you have any memorable stories to tell about it?

I cannot think of anything particularly noteworthy in terms of individual incidents. Three things of note, though: 1. When I got the job, I was actually only hired for one day. I did not know that, and I asked the boss when to show up for day two. He did not have the heart to tell me I was through, so he brought me back the next day. I stayed for five years. 2. When I asked permission to request my future wife’s hand in marriage from her father, he refused because I did not have a sufficiently steady job at the time. This job made it possible for me to get married. 3. One time, the owner of the company went on vacation and left me in charge for a week. I often wondered what our clients would think if they knew that some random history teacher was running and analyzing the tests that would ultimately determine the fate of their engineering projects!


How was that job different from teaching?

It was dirtier! And quite a bit more physically involved.  It was also much lonelier.  I was not engaged with people all the time like now.