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This is a question School Projects

MostlySunny wibbles, "When I was 11 I got an A for my study of shark nets - mostly because I handed it in cut out in the shape of a shark."

Do people do projects that don't involve google-cut-paste any more? What fine tat have you glued together for teacher?

(, Thu 13 Aug 2009, 13:36)
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DG: Young signwriter and poster-maker for hire.
It was the second year of middle school (ages 9-13 for those not familiar with the three-tier system). For some reason, I had managed to get myself a bit of a reputation as a person who was pretty good at free-hand lettering, something I probably learned from my mum's bf who moonlighted as a signwriter for years. Most of the pub signs around the North East were, at some point, done by him as he'd established a fairly lucrative contact within Scottish & Newcastle Breweries after they'd seen some of his work. So guess I learned a fair bit from him, just by watching.

Mr Ferguson was an English teacher in the school, and was also in charge of the running of the library. He'd heard about my AWESOME SKILLZ with lettering, and asked me and a mate to do a few posters advertising the library, to try and entice a few people into it and remove books from the shelves so the cleaners could make a proper job of dusting them. "You'll be well rewarded lads", he remarked.


So, over a week or so, me and my mate would get dispensation to stay in over break times and use his class to produce our masterworks; a dozen posters in all, A4 in size and all painstakingly hand-lettered with pride. The argument over which typeface we should use nearly saw us decommissioned before we started; I wanted to use something classic and easy to read, he wanted to use a flump style typeface. Eventually we settled on an arial-ish font, but with rounded ends. Artistic temperaments, eh? All the paper was provided for us, as were all of the pens with which to colour in the letters to make them stand out as much as possible in the gloomy light of the school corridors.

We grafted determinedly, occasionally howling in anguish as we discarded efforts when we realised after getting to the last line that we'd spelled 'library' incorrectly. We did that "sticking your tongue out the side of your mouth" thing as we concentrated, determined not to make any more stupid mistakes like getting the opening times wrong. Eventually, we finished, and proudly presented our work to Mr Ferguson, who beamed enthusastically as he observed our handiwork.

"Nice work, lads", he told us, causing our already inflated sense of importance to swell majestically. Nay, imperiously. "I'll get these up around the school immediately", and he turned around.

Our hearts sank a little at this point. "He's bloody forgotton what he said", my 12 year old mind thought. I didn't expect much. That old school prize staple of a book token would be nice, or perhaps a packet of those pens we had been using all week. They were good, they coloured in nice and even and didn't leave streaks; I'd have loved a pack for home.

"Ah yes, just remembered", Mr Ferguson said as he turned back around, stuffing his hand in his pocket, "Your reward".

HE'S PUTTING HIS HAND IN HIS POCKET! WE'RE GETTING PAID! Oh the glee and pride at actually getting paid! This is my career sorted!

"Here you go lads, hold out your hands". We did as we were told, minds racing as the possibilities whirled before our eyes... The coinage dropped into my palm, my anticipation rapidly turned to dejection and more than a hint of pissed off-ness as I observed what lay forlornly in my hand, glinting feebly under the strip lights.

The value of our efforts? Twenty. Fucking. Pence.


Little wonder I ended up in the public sector after that brush with private industry.
(, Thu 13 Aug 2009, 19:51, closed)

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