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What do you wish you had been taught at school?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chelsea2, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I have just spent the best part of two days making a ramp so that I can get my bike into my very small campervan without wrecking my shoulders & damaging the van as I lift it over the obstacles.

    It's done now, but isn't great, and has required modifying and redoing / repairing as I've gone along. I'm not sure how long it will last.

    If only I had been taught practical subjects such as 'woodwork' when I was at school. Not just making things, but the principles behind it, e.g. what kind of saw to use with what materials; when to use screws and when to use nails; etc, etc.

    I only had one term each year of domestic science, needlework & art at secondary school.

    Instead of extending the school leaving age in order for pupils to obtain more academic qualifications, perhaps it would have been more use to focus on a range of life skills and give them a really good grounding in practical,hands-on skills.
  2. hplovegame48

    hplovegame48 New commenter

    I attended school when girls weren't allowed to do metal and woodwork. Considering the amount of practical stuff I do now, it would have been useful

    Latin and Greek would also have been something I would have done given the opportunity.
    Lidnod, racroesus and Marisha like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Languages - I had a series of terrible teachers.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Could you not have just used a length of aluminium 'U' channel from B&Q, say about 2m long and 50mm wide? That should be wide enough for the tyres to run up and would take up little or no space in the campervan.

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  5. abwdSTEM

    abwdSTEM Occasional commenter

    I wish that I had been taught fly fishing at school. I just can't get the hang of it and lessons cost a small fortune. :)
    chelsea2 and nomad like this.
  6. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    History, those history or geography options left me lacking, I loved geography don't get me wrong but history... well without a good grounding in that you learn more on these threads that you did in school, damn shame we couldn't do both qualifications.
    modelmaker likes this.
  7. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

    How to ignore online trolls.
    Lidnod and Ivartheboneless like this.
  8. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    My 1960s boys' grammar school only taught one practical subject, namely Woodwork, and the pièce de résistance for every boy to construct was a coffee table. Mine had wobbly legs even before I brought it home, where it promptly collapsed after placing a cup of coffee on it. This failure convinced me that I should leave carpentry to the experts. The girls' grammar school over the road at least taught a useful practical subject: Home Economics. I wish I had learnt at school how to cook a range of basic meals instead of learning how to make wonky furniture.:)
    gainly and Jolly_Roger15 like this.
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @chelsea2: I wish I had been taught practical subjects, like metal and wood work, at school. My father was a very skilled, practical man: he could decorate, do carpentry, lay carpets, you name it. He made fitted units for the kitchen and bathroom at our old house, in Southall; all covered in Barry Bucknell style formica. Sadly, I inherited none of his abilities: if I try a comparatively simple job, like painting a door, it looks rubbish. I can do Meccano things, like take engines apart and put them back together but nothing creative.
    Dodros likes this.
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Would that it were that simple, @nomad !

    My van is very, very small - 50mm is way too wide for the door, and 2m long would really get in the way. Plus, once you are over the lip of the door frame, it drops down into a well, then there is a step up - so the ramp has to be in two parts (hinged) to take account of the change in angle (either that or be too long to be stored in the van when not in use). I also need to be able to get into the van when the bike is in there, so a place to put my feet is needed.

    In the end, I sawed a trapezoid 55cm wide to rest on the top of the inside step x 33cm wide at the door end, which I hinged onto a rectangular piece 40cm wide x 112cm long that goes outside. Because it's hinged, also, the outside part will fold up when the bike is inside and I can shut the door. And when not in use, the whole thing will fold and go in the front passenger seat out of the way.

    It's not ideal - the space (at the narrow end of the trapezoid) isn't really big enough for my feet, but IS big enough for the front wheel to fall into this side gap when unloading. The handlebars are the problem - they turn and so twist the wheel.

    I bet you wish you'd never asked!!! :p:p
    Dunteachin, nomad and bonxie like this.
  11. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I was very fortunate to have done woodwork, metalwork at school, but I'm still not very practical. Probably because I live with a man who can, so I suppose I just don't. I still have the tray, and plant pot holder I made and even the junior jscksaw, wonky but usable.
    I wish I'd learned the piano or something.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I did a bit of everything at the school I went to, and reading this thread surprises me and also makes me feel lucky. It wasn't a swanky school, but they made everybody do all the stuff, with the exception of cricket for girls and netball for boys. I guess that sort of PE divide still prevails.
    What I do wish for is that our kids today had opportunity to discover such a rich variety of stuff at school. Bemoaning the demise of the arts, the complete absence of music and drama in some schools, the increasing derision of "alternatives" with a practical bias isn't on topic right here, but it kills me to see the paucity of life skill and world knowledge that the curriculum offers.
    That the government insists on.

    Things I learnt at school which many kids do not currently learn-
    dissection, music notation, stage performance, roasting meat, regular use of complex science apparatus, cross country running, latin, cycling proficiency,soldering, stitching, using a set square as a set square was intended. And knowing why there is more than one sort.
    None of that s bog standard now. I wish it was. The only place they definitely teach you all those things now is prison. As a kindness.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  13. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    That's something I've been saying since the day I first joined TES.

    I like the thinking, but how is @chelsea2 going to get the bike off again, unless she has enough space in her small campervan to carry the channel around with her?

    I had a similar problem to solve when I demonstrated machinery to schools. Getting heavy machines in an out of a transit van on my own needed a bit of thinking about. Fortunately the machines were on casters. Initially I hired vans with a taillift, but that was fraught with problems, because there is no standard size of taillift and occasionally I'd get given one with a "Slim Jim" taillift, which was just a bit too small for the machines.

    In the end, we bought a transit van, made a detachable ramp and fitted a winch that allowed the machines to be pulled up and down the ramp in a controlled manner.

    One final bit of advice for @chelsea2, is to ensure your bike is well secured once it's inside your campervan. You'd be surprised by how easy it is for things on wheels to move around while you're driving and the last thing you want is to have to worry about your bike crashing into you if you have to brake suddenly.
  14. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    How to lie, get sacked for lying, cheat my wife and generally fool about, yet end up PM...
  15. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    Same here. I was forced to take cookery and needlework instead. I had no need to acquire those skills at school, since my mother taught them to me. Woodwork would have been much more useful.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    That passing exams makes you no more intelligent- and is not a measure of intelligence. That your health and being happy matters far more. And that god does not exist.
  17. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Thank you - but I don't think there's much chance of that. I can barely get it in anyway, and it gets wedged between the bench seats. The driving part is separated from the habitation, with the space between the above cab storage and the driving / passenger seats too narrow for the bike to get through.

    The bike's gone with me on many journeys, but it really is so awkward to get in - and especially out - of the van, so I hoped the ramp would make it easier.
  18. rararasputin

    rararasputin Lead commenter

    How to budget.
  19. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Financial awareness.
    Enjoyable PE lessons where sport was fun instead of being purely competitive and focused on the most able, and without the public humiliation of group showering with everyone else at the end.
    Lidnod and moose2 like this.
  20. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    How to buy a house and to be taught about mortgages. I just went into a building society and did what they told me to and signed what they asked me to sign. I didn't have a clue what I was doing and there was no internet back then to find out. Fortunately it all seemed to work out ok.
    chelsea2 likes this.

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