Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Learning Curve

You can't teach and old dog new tricks, and you can't teach a young dog to stay home.

There are some things in life you may have been taught but you never actually learned.

Some things like walking, talking, looking both ways before you cross the street and even times tables are perpetually drilled into us until we can accomplish the task with an 80% success rate.

Other things are brought to our attention ... "Here's a skill that could be useful in life" and then left up to us if we ever really figure it out properly

I wish I had of actually learned how to iron from my mother... I still can't do it.. maybe that's because it's one of those things that comes with practice.

Since I'm not very good at it, and I don't like to buy new clothes, I'm not willing to sacrifice the ones that I have to practise until I'm good.

There for I am 26 years old and still bring my cotton blouses to my mother and ask her to iron them for me.

It was my dad who was always trying to teaching us weird random skills that I now wish I could actually do.

It may have been great parenting, or it may have just been boredom, but Dad taught us many things as kids.

He taught me how to play hockey, and golf, and that's why I am right handed but always hold my sticks lefty.

He also taught us all to walk on stilts once. He had every kid in the neighbourhood outfitted with two by fours with foot rests at varying lengths.

The older kids had to stand on back of the pick up truck in order to get on the stilts. Actually I'm amazed no one died... this was back in the day before they made you wear a helmet to brush you teeth or walk downstairs.

Being the youngest, my stilts were only about 4 inches off the ground. So I didn't really learn any circus credibility, but I think I can credit Dad to this day for the fact that I can walk two miles in 3 1/4 inch heals without flinching.

He also taught me a valuable rollerblading lesson. Don't go down a paved hill when there is only gravel at the bottom to stop you. That was a lesson he taught me by example. I didn't need to try it myself.

But the one skill that I think would be really useful these days was back when I was about 7 or 8 years old and he decided we should all learn to use a lasso.

This is a skill I actually practiced with a certain amount of dedication. (Mainly because at the time I still believed that a horse for my birthday was a real possibility. Being able to use a lasso, and looking good in a cowboy hat seemed to get me one step closer to this dream.)

But alas, having no real training, and only the tiniest concept of how a lasso actually works, eventually that skill was given up as well ( actually, I think that was when he moved us onto the stilts).

Every time my dog heads out the yard, and I stand there useless, screaming my head off, fifty feet of rope all around me, I have a tiny smidgen of remorse that I never mastered the art of slinging a perfect circle of rope around a moving object.

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