Teach me – August 2012

Posted: 27 August 2012 in life, don't talk to me about life, personal, skills
Tags: ,

Been a while since I’ve done this, almost a year…

Some years ago, there was a series of guide books to software entitled Tips, Tricks and Traps. Written distinctly with tongue firmly in cheek, the books purported to be merely a guide to the very important, nay vital things you needed to know in order to use a specific piece of software. Of course, the books were nothing of the sort – they covered everything from the very basic to the quite advanced.

They all ended up with three ‘lists of ten things’, which were essential reading. The first was “Ten Things you really do need to know”; the second was “Ten Things that it’s very helpful to be able to do”. The last was the genius bit: “Ten Things you’ll need beer for,” the idea being that with these things, it took too much time to learn how to do them, so it would be much easier to go to someone who really knew the software and say to them: “if I buy you beer, will you please do this for me?”

Now, I have no beer, but I sometimes get incredibly envious of the skills possessed by other people.

Time to address that envy, I think.

Teach me one thing about your job, or a skill you possess, something that the odds are that I don’t know. (Note, I’m not asking what skills you possess – I’m requesting that you teach me something about that skill…)

You want examples? OK, well, say you spend your professional life writing. Then tell me how you get over ‘writer’s block’. Or if you can touch type, what’s the hardest word to type, and how do you remember it? You’re a whiz at teaching others mnemonics? Then teach me some. Or if you write gags, how do you know what’s funny and what’s not? Or if you write web pages, did I know that by sticking <b> and </b> around a word, I’ll make it appear emboldened? (Well, “yes“, is the obvious answer to that one…)

Other examples people have taught me over the years include:
– how to feed a cat a tablet
– a sommelier explaining how he decides the description of a wine
– the key to cleaning up images for icons
– how to breed fruit flies
– the best way to corner at speed
– a teacher taking me step by step through the process of the “you’re about to be in trouble” stare
– how to design a room
– the placement of word balloons
– how to learn a really difficult piece of music
– to create a genuinely blind hem on a satin bridal gown or other formal outfit
– how to calculate the flow of bubble bath when you bathe
– how a cover teacher knows your name in class (when you don’t think they do)

Go on then – teach me something about your job, or a skill you possess.

  1. Vix says:

    I recently did a piece of training about administering the drug Naloxone, which is used in the case of opiate overdose. Apparently it is very hard to cock it up (challenge accepted!) as you can’t overdose someone on it, and it does no harm. It is also an inter-muscular injection, so no faff of finding veins – you just shove it in the upper arm or the thigh. Call an ambulance and put the patient in the recovery position first. Which brings me onto how to remember how to do the recovery postion.

    The GP doing the training enlightened me about something. The bent arm and leg in the recovery position serve no purpose to the patient, the are there to give you something to grab hold of when turning them over. Once I knew this, I could remember that it was the arm and leg furthest away from you that you bend, in order to pull the patient toward you and onto their side. Which means that the only thing you have to remember is to put the arm nearest to you into a ‘high-five’ position first. So, high -five with nearest arm, bend far arm and leg, grab by elbow and knee and pull them towards you onto their side. Job done.

  2. Spindles says:

    Actually sir, the whole bold thing on a web page is now very different. Whilst the <b>sometext</b> does still work, it is now common practice to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to achieve this effect. HTML should be used to define the content and CSS for the visuals.

    So this now becomes: <span style=”font-weight:bold;”>sometext</span>

    Or if you want to separate out the two completely then you should do something like this:

    in page.html: <span id=boldtext>sometext</span>
    then in a separate CSS file: #sometext { font-weight:bold; }

    This allows you to stick that span tag around any text you want to make bold. Then if you want to underline it all too, you just change the definition in the css file once and all instances will be updated in one go.


    • Appreciated, genuinely – but although I’ve used a teeny tiny bit of CSS on this site and use it for aligning pics, that’s as far as I go. I’ve tried learning CSS a couple of times and I find it horribly complicated.

      Note, I’m not saying that it is that complicated, merely that I find it so. Quite happy to acknowledge that it’s my “fault”, not the language.

      • In this, you’re far from alone. I can wrap my brain around the theory behind CSS, but applying the language to my website coding – what little of it I’ve done to date – is beyond me for now.

        I’ll try to answer this entry’s challenge a little later…

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