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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)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Computer desk
CaptainSpunker's story reminds me...

Many moons ago for my 'Design & Technology Resistant Materials' GCSE, I embarked on the design and construction of a computer desk. Obviously, I spent 80% of the weeks allocated to this work doing drawings, fucking about with the lathe (goodness only knows what fine machining had to do with my design) and laughing at the truly awesome Mr Chapman mix up his wrongly colour coded steel rods in the oxy-acetylene torch demonstration ("Now this is low carbon steel, so this will bend after heating..." *PING!* "Shit!")

Anyway, when the time had long passed to get down to building the sodding desk - which had developed through interminable doodling into a true leviathan of Brunelian proportions and strength - I realised there was no time to finish. What to do?

Well, I cut the MDF shelving out myself and invested a great deal of effort in profiling and staining it, honestly I did, but my mum's partner seeing my predicament offered to get the metalwork made up at his friend's light engineering workshop. I felt a bit bad as a good few of my classmates had slaved away for weeks realising their Rotring-drawn dreams in steel, vacuum-formed plastic and "a range of aesthetically pleasing hardwoods". However I figured only I would know, as my partner's friend had a reputation for turning out stillages, farm trailers and restored tanks - hardly the pretty engineering that might give me away.

So I was more than a little mortified when a set of beautifully fabricated steel frame sections arrived at our house, fashioned from 20mmx20mm square section steel tubing, bent at the corners in a way only achievable by a specific machine the school certainly did not have, all topped off by a stunning cobalt blue powder coat finish. Offend my mum's partner and his talented friend (who'd done the work gratis) or fail the course and get teased forever?

I plumped for the latter, and predictable uproar ensued when 'my' creation was unveiled. Frankly, I agreed, and bravely admitted my weakness and failure to my hard-working colleagues looked at the floor. But Mr Chapman then threw a fairly typical curve-ball - in answer to all the protests around the theme of "but I built mine myself!", he stated: "Nowhere in the brief does it say, or did I say, that you had to actually build the entire project yourselves. This is an example of good project management, and also something known as outsourcing. A*."

I was as dumbfounded as the 20 pupils who'd just learned to hate in ways they hadn't imagined were possible. Nice desk though.

Length? Considerably shrivelled five minutes later when I thought I'd damaged the inlaid marquetry on my friend's cherry wood jewellery box with a dropped chisel.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 23:58, Reply)
IEDs - 90's college student style

My friend at the time (he later 'dumped' me 'cos he thought his missus and I were getting it on - though to be fair, he created a self-fulfilling prophecy....) were in to fire in a big way. And canons. And guns - well .177 air pistol things were totally ineffective and causing anything other than a muted 'pop' when shot. Perfectly normally teenager interests.

I forget now, how we came to decide this is what we'd do...

A local carpet shop - this was the days of greengrocers in the high street, FineFare, Budgens etc. etc. - used to store its discarded cardboard carpet roll inners - monster monster toilet tubes - out the back.

We found that these 6ft-long tubes, about 1/2inch thick and with an internal diameter of little more than a Swan Vestas lighter re-fill gas cannister.... made an excellent improvised mortar tube!

After much experimentation - and wasting of pocket money on gas re-fill cannister after re-fill cannister after re-fill cannister - we worked out how to get the most out of these 'mortars'.

Our housing estate backed on to a nice woodland area, which in turn surrounded a number of fields. We would find a typical 3-strand barbed wire fence looking out onto a field, and lean a tube up against the top strand. We'd dig the base of the tube into the dirt a little, drop some rags down it, set these alight and then slide in the mortar - the lighter re-fill cannister. We later found pre-drilling the base of the tube at the position where the rags would burn really helped things along...

We found these re-fill cannisters would blow up big-time, then launch themselves (what I recall) up to a couple of hundred yards. When we retrieved the cylinders, we found they'd always blown around the seal at the top of the cannister. I'm not sure we'd have taken-out many Taliban, but we sure scared a few bunny rabbits.

So, not a school project as such - only 'cos our teachers at the time never asked us to be so innovative - but something that I remember fondly, a full 25 yrs on.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 21:31, Reply)
Best project EVER
A Level Biology Field trip to Tenby.

Looked in rock pools.

Identified Sea Weed

Touched my first ever foof.

(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 20:13, 3 replies)
Mandy Thompson completed her piss easy talk about Bethlehem, complete with camels made out of blu-tac and toilet brush palm trees, and sat down.

Fuckin' bitch - Mandy Thompson always picked the easy ones...

At my incredibly relegious Catholic secondary school the RE teacher - a demented ginger lady who looked like she'd come to work with a semi automatic weapon along with her cling filmed cheese sandwiches anyday now - used to make us draw lots to choose our monthly projects. This month was Places from the Bible. Mandy Thompson got the easy one. I got something incredibly fucking hard. So, I took the only sensible, reasonable course of action - I forgot all about it and went out and played football after school every night until the night before the project was due.

But when I actually sat down the night before with my dad's Encyclopedia Britanica, a big bit of blank paper, and some crayons I'd nicked from my little cousin Rob, I discovered a whole new world of mystery and wonder. Fuck me... The bible had finally had some kind of effect on me...

I was elated. OK, I sort of went off at a tangent - but all the same, why hadn't anyone told me about this place before? To my twelve year old mind it sounded absolutely fucking GREAT!!! This was in the FUCKING BIBLE!!! Eyes wide, trembling slightly, I started to think how to put this down on paper. Being one for a bit of flair when it came to putting together a presentation (they were, after all, very nice crayons and it was a really big bit of paper), I set about doing a modern take on the biblical place I'd drawn out of the hat.

I did a tourist poster - and it was fucking AWSOME!!!

Back to class, Mandy Thompson had finished, put away her diorama, and I stepped forward, unrolled my big bit of paper - and the class went deadly silent. The ginge teacher - Mrs Bannister - went pale and I could almost hear the very perceptible sound of her arsehole puckering up. Ha! My discover was IMMENSE!!! It was time the WHOLE FUCKING WORLD knew about this place!!!

So I began.

I explained it was a nice place to visit. Lots to see and do. I explained that I'd researched the place completely and this was all above board and legit. (After the presentation where I suggested Jesus Christ was an alien from Alpha Centuri, I had a bit of work to do to get the class back onside). And then I went on to discribe my poster, which was basically a crude stick figure bending over and another stick figure behind the first one. I had the foresight to draw big smiley faces on each of them. And beads of sweat. I assumed they'd be enjoying themselves and God knew there wasn't alot of that going on in the bible. And anyway, the Encyclopedia said some people derived pleasure from the act, and I was intrugied. The whole damn world, or at least Class 3B, deseved to know about this revelation. It was up there with the resurrection, in my humble opinion. I'd also put the name of the place in big bold print at the top with the tagline:

COME HERE FOR FUN AND GAMES!!! THOUGH YOU MIGHT END UP BURNING IN HELL!!! With the name of the place in even bigger letters at the bottom. And, of course, a few obligitary palm trees and camels to give it that authentic bible-ley feel.

And that's how - in as much graphic detail as a feckless, fuckwit twelve year old can muster - I discribed the act of sodomy to a class of thirty-three kids and one very irate, red-faced, about to go absoultely fucking Postal teacher.

I managed to get halfway through before Mrs Bannister stopped me and sent me on the all too familiar trip to the headmasters office.

I just felt sorry for the kid who'd chosen Gomorrah - there was no fucking way they were going to top my effort.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:31, 4 replies)
I've been trying to decide whether to post this or not.
But the last Mojito has got the better of me and I think it's time to finally admit the cruelty a 14 year old mind is capable of.

During the late 80’s and early 90’s, this Smurf attended a secondary school in Essex that housed a maths teacher by the name of Mr Langidon (surname changed slightly as I still feel slightly guilty and I don’t feel it’s right to call him by his real name). Mr Langidon was racist, sexist, a total git and.....riddled with Multiple Sclerosis.

I guess at the time that he was maybe in his forties. He had greying hair, plugs of dandruff/dead skin behind his ears and rode around in an electric wheelchair. The MS had taken his legs but his arms were still in use, even if twisted. I could easily fill up several pages with his gittishness, but will instead try to abridge the reason why our unofficial school project, S.P.A.C.S., began.

He wasn’t a supportive teacher. If you (and/or most of the class) didn’t understand what he was explaining, you were stupid. Not ‘in need of help’, but “thick”.

If you dared to move your foot outside of the under-desk area during a lesson, he would run it over on the premise he was moving to the back of the class.*

Either he was a very bad driver, or he would like to terrify you by crashing in to your desk with a tremendous bang if he came over to see you. Slower pupils would receive a bruise to the shin where his metal foot holders (please excuse my lack of wheelchair terminology) would encroach under the desk.

One very disturbing memory is off looking up from an equation and seeing him, what can only be described as rubbing himself through his trousers with his twisted right hand. I turned to look to see the source of his pleasure and noted a female pupil with laddered tights, white knickers on view under the desk due to her short skirt (to be fair, I ‘rubbed’ myself to this memory more than several times. But I was 13 or 14!)

There were many more happenings (that I cannot distinguish between fact and school boy imagination), but the birth of S.P.A.C.S. was brought about when another female pupil decided to argue with him.

Aamina (name changed) was of Asian descent, but pure Essex girl (i.e. gobby). I have no memory of what the argument was about now, but I do perfectly remember him rolling up to her desk at speed, crashing in to it and slurring “Why don’t you go back to where you came from”?! Official complaints were made and he disappeared for a few days, but then reappeared as nasty as ever.

Martyn, Peter and myself were brought together by our love of heavy metal and our hate for Mr Langidon. We’d had enough abuse, sore feet and bruised shins. S.P.A.C.S. was officially started via a whispered conversation during a lunch break. School Pupils Against Cripples Society was born. S.P.A.C.S.

I’d pilfered an extra English writing book which became our anthem book. The front was emblazoned with the ‘disabled’ sign within a red circle with a cross through it. Most of our anti-Langidon (and uninformed) songs, created during maths lessons, were twisted versions of other songs:

“I was born under a moving car. It hit me hard and I flew quite far...” (I was born under a wanderin Star, Lee Marvin)

“I’m a bastard, a c*nt, a crippled bitch who never gets tired of wheelie tricks....” (Right next door to hell, GNR)

“When you were young and you still, had the use of both of your legs.....” (Live and let die, Wings/GNR).

I don’t know now whether it’s guilt or the absolute hatred of the man that I still remember some of these lyrics a couple of years shy of twenty years on. We had a whole book full of these bile filled, hate songs.

The final ‘project’ I do remember from absolute guilt.

Rumour had it that two lads a couple of years above us had swapped the battery leads on his wheelchair around. One distracted him whilst the the other sneaked behind him and did the deed. Another pupil then asked for help. When Langidon twisted his accelerator to go forward and carry out his usual desk crashing act, he actually shot backwards in to the store cupboard where they promptly locked him in. We could do better than this.

I called Langidon over to my desk on the pretence that I had a question. “What is it Smmmurf” he asked with his usual drawl and look of distaste. I kept him distracted whilst Martyn, on the desk behind me, made his stealthy approach. The drawing pin was placed behind his rear right wheel and Martyn sneaked back to his desk.

I didn’t know we had succeeded until Martyn disappeared the next week. I’d assumed that the drawing pin had stuck in the tyre with no effect, other than a ‘schnick, schnick, schnick’ noise as he wheeled down the wooden corridors, warning pupils with already tender toes or shins of his approach.

A few days later the whisperings began. “Martyn’s been suspended”. “Martyn popped Mr Langidons tyre”. “Martyn had to pay for a new tyre for Mr Langidon which cost £100!!!” And it was all true.

But not once did Martyn bring my name in to it. Not once did Martyn mention S.P.A.C.S.

Martyn is quite a strong Christian nowadays whilst I remain very good atheist. I hope I’m wrong and he is right and he puts in a good word for me.

Am I proud of our actions? No. No way. If I saw him today would I walk up to him and say "You know what? You were an absolute c*nt"? No. I'm far too polite to do that. But in my mind, I would be singing "You're a bastard, a c*nt a crippled bitch who never get's tired of wheelie tricks. But when your wheel goes pop you'll find the blues...."

*I resent this because I would almost certainly do the same if in the same position (sitting down).
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:17, 4 replies)
Talking of School Stuff
I'm 95% of the way to completing my NVQ.

Whoooo go me
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:07, 2 replies)
The magic car
After reading Ejaculantern's story below I felt compelled to write - not cos this story is remotely interesting, but just because it is another example of how school can potentially go so wrong for those who just aren't flavour of the month.

At middle school, as they used to be known in my part of the UK I was more than a little obsessed with a girl. I'll call her Melissa, for that was her name. I spent every English lesson pretty much thinking of her in her netball gear and that time I am *sure* I got a glimpse of her knickers (as they were known at the time).

This obviously meant I spent very little time listening to Mr O'Leary or staring at the small hairy planet that had grown on his face. Sadly, this also meant my work was mediocre at best in English class and when the time came for my middle school to give recommendations to the 'upper' school - I was duly placed in the 'remedial' group. The beauty was, they actually called it the 'remedial class' openly. As if the kids in the class didn't have enough to worry about.

Anyway, as Melissa was in the 'top set' my focus resumed and I began completing essays on time and up to my usual writing standard. It wasn't long before I was called into see Mr Mcgrath - Head of English. He asked me how come I was in the remedial class when I was quite clearly above that standard.

He then gave me the task of writing a short story based upon a flying car (first thing that came into his head apparently), and I had 30 minutes to write it in.

To cut a long story short (as it were) I was moved to the top set the next day and Mr O'Leary received much derision from the teachers. My short story also won the writing competition in school that year. I escaped the remedial class and even took my A/S level English when everyone else were taking their GCSE's.

Trouble is, I was back in the same room as Melissa and once again my pen drooped while my penis stood proud....

Oh well.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 19:01, Reply)
Lights! Camera! Speccy kid!
I spent my entire school career pottering along in the background. I was dreadful at sports, mediocre at subjects I didn't like and decent at the ones I did like - when I bothered to make the effort.
Basically, I turned up most days, mostly behaved myself and did the bare minimum to get by.
But for one brief, glorious spell I was asked to do something and it turned out that I was better at it at than anybody else.
It started with my History class being asked to write a faux-news report on the Battle Of Bosworth. And then read it out.
You've heard most kids try to read things out. "Mumble. Mumble. Errr. Wots this word? " All the enthusiasm and flair of a mogadonned whelk. Me? I was clear, articulate and passionate.Fucking brilliant, if I do say so myself. The teacher asked the class who gave the best reading and sixty awestruck eyes turned in my direction. Thirty inkstained fingers pointed at the startled speccy kid over by the window. Who was now wondering if he was going to get a kicking off the class hardnuts.
Anyway, there was a bit of news to come. The class was going to make a video about Richard III. They needed a narrator/presenter. Guess who that was going to be?
I spent an afternoon swanning around Nottingham (Or possibly Chester. I should really have been paying attention.Big city within a morning's drive of Stafford. Got a castle and a big river.)intoning my lines with all the gravitas a 14 year old can muster. I think I was pretty good at it too.

The finished result would get its premiere at the next Parents' Evening.

Which was a bit unfortunate.

Most parents don't give a steaming shit for anything that their offspring isn't involved in. So they didn't bother watching it. Most pupils were already hacked off about being dragged to school afterhours so they weren't going to watch it either.
And the two people that I would have liked to have seen it? (Three if you count me.)
Well, remember that bit at the top about doing the bare minimum to get by? Some eejit teacher told my parents this almost as soon as they arrived. Before I had chance to show them my starring role I was immediately dragged home for a mixture of industrial strength bollocking and turbocharged guilt trip.
I never did get to see it.
And I'm fairly certain that I know what happened to the videotape. Round about then Channel 4 were showing the "Red Triangle" films last thing at night...
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 18:56, Reply)
Wasn't quite school, buuuut....
In the Scouts, we used to dabble in mildly pyrotechnic things, but after our experiments with the coke can/Pringles tube mortar and the banning of bangers from sale, we turned to less fiery methods of lobbing projectiles. The first attempt was the rubber-band bazooka. A four foot piece of drain pipe, twenty four Royal Mail rubber bands, a tin can and a firing mechanism made of a piece of string with a knot in it and piece of coathanger pushed through a piece of wood. All very good, could fling an egg a respectable forty foot at someone. We did scale it up to a nine-foot, forty-eight-band artillery piece that put a hole through a canoe from fifty foot using a ball of blu-tack as a shot.
Our crowning achievement was the water rocket. We took the basic design and fiddled with it so it went from a paltry thirty foot until we could get over three hundred foot of altitude. The adjustments we made were to add a pebble to the top of the bottle to give it more momentum when the water had gone, to shoot it out of a drain pipe (thus retaining the force of the exhaust) and to add plastic fins that folded down flat against the body of the rocket in the tube, but popped out on exiting, like a smart-bomb. The first test resulted in two smashed roof tiles on a house on the other side of the estate, being considerably more powerful than we had imagined.
When it used to go off, the crew of two would disappear inside of a pearlescent cloud of water droplets and all you would see was a small speck near the top of a very high arc.
Somehow word spread and we ended up giving a demonstration of it to the Chief Scout (back when they were proper Scouts, not just 'pick a celebrity for the week').
Happy days.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 18:43, 1 reply)
I seem to remember many millions of years ago
when I was in fifth year at high school, we had a glorified book report which made up a large part of our final exam result. My time addled old brain seems to think it was called an R.P.R. but I may be wrong.

I remember everyone being really serious about how important this thing was. All my classmates were milling around the library trying to find the most hoity-toity piece of literature they could lay their hands on. Not for me, all this effort! After scanning through a few of my friend's mum's readers digest condensed books without any joy, I again returned to the library and decided on the literary work which I would compose my masterpiece on.

"In Honour Bound" by Gerald Seymour. Basically an Andy McNab style thriller about some army type fellow smuggling stinger missiles into Afghanistan during the Russia-Afghan war. Leafing through this hefty tome, it became quickly apparent that I was going to have to work hard to adequately answer the whole range of questions which I had been set, such as studying character relationships, seeing how plot devices were used to move the story along etc..... it was basically an Arnie film in book form. Character relationships? Well.... they shot at each other a lot. The final result was less an R.P.R. and more R.P.G.

Somehow I managed to get a B overall, and this was back when exams were actual exams, not precisely rehearsed regurgitation classes. (/old person blog). This is made even more amazing due to the fact I never actually finished the book..... even then my brain was starting to figure out the shortest way to achieve things. They didn't care about the plot of the book and the examiner was unlikely to have read it, I reasoned, so I scanned it and made a load of stuff up.

I still have the book too, I never returned it to the library. Should be around sixteen years of late charges by now.

Take heed, children! It's not how hard you try, it's how craftily you can disguise your laziness.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 17:49, 2 replies)
I got full marks and a commendation in front of the school
When I was about 10 I did a school project on bats. I read up on them and produced an amazing* piece of literature on the native bat species of the UK, with diagrams, tables, pictures, the works. That wasn't what got me such a high mark, however.

We rented a caravan out on the Welsh borders, and one year when my dad was moving the big gas bottle, he'd found a dead bat** beneath it. Because the space under the caravan was really dry, the poor thing had been effectively mummified - it certainly didn't smell or anything, so I'd tucked it away in a box and kept it in the loft.

Anyway, at a loss as to how to finish my project, I dug out my dead bat and stuck it to the cover. The headmistress certainly wasn't expecting that, but was sufficiently impressed to give me top marks.

*so it seemed at the time
**a Daubenton's bat, no less. See, I did learn something.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 17:32, Reply)
Skeet Shooting. A sport for no one
Back in the pre-internet mists of time when I was at school I had to do a project on sports.
I could pick any sport I wanted but having no interest in sports I chose to write about Skeet Shooting and made it all up. The rules, the equipment, even renowned celebrates in the world of Skeet. All fabricated.

Luckily the teacher had a similar lack of interest in researching my 'facts' and gave me an A :-)

Wouldn't get away with that these days I tells ya
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 17:28, Reply)
On suspension bridges and longships.
Having been right through that wonderful institution known as the 'Great' British school system and (just about) come out the other side, I've done a fair few projects in my time. Most were a bit shite, but there were a few that stayed with me:

1) A term-long project about the Vikings in Year Four.
Now, my family history can be traced back a touch beyond that of most 8-9 year olds, in that I'm directly descended, by way of my grandmother's family, from the Vikings. Not just any Vikings either, some of the first Viking invaders of Ireland no less. With that in mind imagine, if you will, a belligerent 8 year old having a blazing row with her teacher over the veracity of the statement "My granny's a Viking!". Then imagine the same child spending the rest of the term making her ancestors proud and throwing herself into the Viking Project with such gusto the school started sending notes home about it.

The end result? We moved onto Romans the following term and, rather than being permitted to terrorise the Roman Project in the same way (not bleedin' likely!), I was allowed to slope off to the library for 'extra reading time'. I hated studying the Romans, loved reading books, and spent the rest of that term happy as a larry who'd just won the literary lottery. Score!

2) Building suspension bridges.
Same school, slightly later in my colourful career there. We were put into groups, given free rein in the 'Modern' Technologies room, (which was somewhat rudimentary to say the least) and told to build bridges. Surprisingly, this wasn't a half-arsed, happy-clappy metaphor, it did actually mean 'build a sodding bridge strong enough to support Xkg of the cheap Lego ripoff we've borrowed from the Infant School'. My group laboured on, and on, and on, and eventually came up with a mildly efficient bridge, which broke in half more than held its own during the Lego-bearing competition.It was sometime during the competition that this project earned its place forever in my mind, when I realised I was always going to be what I'd heard called an 'arty type'. Why? Because while our bridge was lacking on the technological side (and by that point, in two distinct halves), I didn't care because artistically, it was a masterpiece that I still wish I'd kept.

Incidentally, it's not often the QOTW coincides with what I'm doing, but I finally remembered to check this week's (having been at a festival over the weekend) just as I finished making an ornamental oil-burner out of a miniature bucket, the lid from a tin of hair glitter, and a healthy amount of garden wire with the plastic stripped off. Which works remarkably and pleasingly well I should add.

No apologies for length, because it broke in half anyway.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 17:14, Reply)
Bounce Bounce
Being a wee little nipper the simple things could amuse me. Now I see that the QOTW is full of inspiring stories of twelve year olds producing degree standard work... oh not me. No, not me at all.

You see every Friday at primary school was assembly. Reception to year 6 would file into the school hall accompanied by teachers with 'Holst' playing on the CD player (an attempt to calm us down) the usual school news would be read out, a fable would be told; usually stemming around the moral 'thou shalt not steal' etc etc (rough comprehensive I tell you).

Anyways getting back to the point, whilst all of you guys were doing projects I spent 3 of my primary years creating my masterpiece. An elastic band ball*. The size of a football no lie. In assembly I would show the school who saw the progression from a tennis ball size to the enormous thing it ended up being.

I left it in the head office for a few days until my dad could carry it home (my small girly frame couldn't manage it)... and some bastard stole it. Probably a blessing in disguise - I concentrated on my schoolwork more.

*dad was a postman, explains the abundance of elastic bands.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 16:45, 3 replies)
Beer and brandy
I have a MA in Photography. My final project was photos taken with a beer can pinhole camera accompanied by a story I wrote while swigging brandy and orange. (The story is full of silliness and rude innuendo, which luckily the lecturer missed)

Turned out quite well actually.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 16:39, 2 replies)
Not a project at all
But a sterling success all the same and way more friend points than stupid academic achievement could ever get you. My older brother and I (he aged 13 me aged 11) told our mum that it was the half term holiday, which it wasn’t until the following week. She didn’t find out until that Wednesday, best 3 days of Saga megadrive playing I can remember.

The only thing I think I was ever really well rewarded for at school was my GCSE maths course work – I had to do 2 projects - 1 using algebra to work out how many things there were in other things (come on, I had the finest education the John Major’s government could offer) I think I did have an unfair advantage my father being a software engineer, as a kid I had been bored to tears by him explaining what a logarithm was, all I had to do was get the cut a paste a few sentences from Encarta. The other one about 3 dimensional shapes made from paper, cutting and sticking. Both received grade A.

I now work for a school, but I’m not a teacher.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 16:27, 1 reply)
Doing my best to conform to sterotype...
For the very first essay assigned in the first term of my History degree I decided to not bother doing the work until the nght before, I stayed up all night, wrote the thing straight onto the computer (essay planning? pah I don't think so), printed, handed in then went to bed.

Unfortunately I got an excellent grade which reinforced my laziness and allowed me to justify to myself that I worked better under pressure. So for three years I just dossed about, wrote stuff in the days before the deadline and had a great time. Of course I did the same with exam revision.
As a result, got a 2:2 which I was pretty happy about.
However it meant that I rarely rememberd much of the subject matter for more than a few days after writing it so my knowledge of the subject is pretty hazy.

Fast forward to 2002 and I decide to go back to Uni for a Master's in Comp. Sci. This time I actually made an effort and went to lectures and stuff, amazing stuff and actually quite enjoyable.

At the end of the taught part of the course in July we were then told that we could either stop now and get a post grad certificate, hand in our dissertation at the end of the summer to get a Masters or stay registered and hand our dissertation in at some point in the next 2 years (why give us such a stupid long deadline, did they really expect us to do it??) We were however warned that 90% of students who didn't hand it in by the september, would never get around to finishing.
I left it until 3 weeks before the end of the 2 year deadline. Took 2 weeks off work, moved into my parents spare room (they made me get out of bed every day and fed me, without them I'd have just slept for 2 weeks). I passed in the end, even though the final project was a bit shite, I think they just gave me a "pity pass"
So now I'm cornishbob BA MSc and with 6 yars commercial barely making ends meet working in academia as a .Net developer.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 16:11, 3 replies)
Don't really recall any of my school projects,
don't think they were that interesting.
But in uni, my final project was a doozey. There were lots of things to chose from, from complicated LED clocks to other complicated software which did clever, complicated things.

I chose to do a website.

It was supposed to be a complicated clever website, but I had no idea how to do that. So I knocked up the most basic, not to mention astoundingly ugly, website I'd ever made. It was supposed to be an interactive walkthrough of the department. And it was, sort of. It had pictures and when you clicked on the picture to take you to... another picture.
One of the lecturers who helped mark the project pointed out to me that I could do this with my eyes closed before I even started uni. And I passed! OK, it was a scrape, but scraping through anything academic had been a speciality of mine for years. Yes, I passed by handing in a project which reflected nothing I had learnt in the previous three years of uni.

Oh one thing in school, whilst not a project but the only thing I was proud of in that hateful place was one lesson right near the end of year in maths. The teacher didn't have anything planned and so set a devilish question which he was sure would tax the kids for the whole 50 mins so he could sit on his arse and do nothing.

How many squares on a chessboard?

Not 64, as everyone immediatly shouted out, but including the squares of 2x2 and 3x3, etc. Anyway, I produced the answer after about 5 minutes which made him a little surprised.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:57, 5 replies)
What did the Romans ever do for us?
Way back in the mists of time, probably around '93 when I had to study history as an apparent necessity, rather than by choice, our class had been given two weeks to put together presentations and work about the Romans. This was given out by our teacher Mr Storie, in the most fantastic fashion - he leaped up onto his desk in a single bound, the desk screeched as it shifted under this assault. Was made that so interesting was Mr Storie had arthritis in his back, so in retrospect, his hunched, gangly form had an air of "Gollum" leaping on some hapless prey, but I digress.

Everyone did their bit, myself included; all to the minimum requirements of course. At the end of those two weeks, work was collected and presentations made without much fuss or bother. No silly jokes, no "sorry sir, a passing sparrow hawk snatched my work out of my hand whilst I was distracted by the fact my grandma who died last time I forgot homework died again this week."

Our reward for getting everything in on time? Mr Storie had written a "computer game" - basically a text adventure with a few maps and pictures - where you play as the Romans and must trade with other civilisations. "Your score in the game will go towards your marks for this project!" was the "incentive"

Now, being an industrious fellow, I convinced a few classmates to join me on a jape - to head to the computer room one lunch during the week, 'hack' (guess the password and get into Storie's personal data folders), work out how to get a maximum score (rather than edit it and add crude cock-based jokes - I was being industrious, not a troublemaker) and then make up for any shortcomings with our respective written work.

It was all going swimmingly. We accessed the game files (we didn't find anything else in there, aside from a few other similar games), and worked out the winning path.

Later that day, post afternoon registration, myself and my mates were heading down the corridor to leave school when, in true Smeagol-esque fashion, Mr Storie leapt out, blocking our path.

"I am VERY disappointed with you boys! You are SO VERY LUCKY I didn't find you at the end of lunch, as I would have beaten you senseless* on the spot, I was THAT angry!" - he was quite upset; he had turned an alarming shade of purple, and was hopping from one foot to the other.

It would appear that the IT Technician (he was also the Science Tech. and looked EXACTLY like Brains from Thunderbirds - right down to the walk) had watched us break into Stories files and dissect the game, only to race of in his stupid puppet run/bouncy hop to eagerly tell our semi-crippled history teacher the good/bad news.

We were then banned from taking part in the planned "computer game fun" lesson and the privilege of a week of lunchtime detentions. As it happens, we ended up with one lunchtime detentions (which only lasted half of lunch) and by the following lesson, poor old Mr Storie had calmed down and let us take part.

We all still held grudges against Mr Hill, the technician all the way through school until the end of sixth form.

If Mr Storie ever happens to read this - I'm sorry - you probably put a lot of effort into that game to entertain a class of 13 year olds who really didn't care for what the Romans gave to us; but then again, if I hadn't, I wouldn't have a reason to skive off work to type up this pointless tale.

Length? 27 BC–AD 476, and I had to get that off Wikipedia.

*actually, I don't think he was that polite about it
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:53, Reply)
Hand axe
I was 11, at the very beginning of the very first term of 'big school' in Mr Creichton's history class. We were warned that he was a cantankerous old cunt and for our very first homework project we were told to make a neolithic hand axe. WTF I thought, how am I going to do that? My mind was so welling up with fear of not being able to complete this task and the inevitable punishment that would ensue that my whole weekend was drowned in complete worry until my dad saw me looking down in the dumps during Sunday lunch.

I poured forth a sorry tale of woe and worry and I confess there may have been some watering of the eyes, but my Dad just told me to cheer up, got the car keys and off we went to the local gravel pits. After about an hour of searching we found a fearsome looking lump of flint that was just the right size. We then found a small branch and hacked it off a tree. With our raw materials in hand we returned home and I was instructed to cross the street to see George the cobbler. Mr Smith was an undiagnosed tourrettes in denial who promptly bombarded me with a stream of vitreol but nonetheless gave me a load of 1/4 inch strips of leather and refused any efforts to pay for said leather.

With the leather soaking in water I set about cutting the branch to the right length. I then split the newly-fashioned axe handle carefully and inserted the flint in to the y-shape. After wrapping the soaked leather around the flint and handle and burring the cut end and charring it over a naked flame for authenticity the axe was ready to dry.

The next morning I ventured in to the garage to see my finished project. It was incredible. the leather had shrunk so tight that the flint was held securely within the axe handle. I imagined roaming the neolithic plains, dispatching anyone and anything foolish to mess with me and my hand axe.

I had to wait until first period after lunch until double history with creichton. I looked around the class and was elated to see that my axe pissed all over the competition. A few had no axe at all and were promptly awarded with black marks. The rest of the class ranged from a sorry looking pebble to a piece of sawn timber with an apologetic stone sellotaped on. Creichton just prowled the classroom picking up the pitiful offerings and disdainfully throwing them back down to the desk. Scores of 3, 5 and 4 were spat out towards the pupils.

My axe was next and I remember it was the only time I ever saw him smile. He was obviously impressed and held the axe for the rest of the class to see and proclaimed it to be very nearly almost authentic, detailing the use of the almost correct materials and methods. My mind was rushing with the spinal-tapesque score I would be awarded, when the smile evaporated, the axe thrown on to the desk and 'seven' uttered from the old bastard's grey old lips.

Seven? Ignoring the fact that it was the best score in the class I could not get round the injustice of it all. What in the name of god would you have to do to get an 8 or a 9? He then picked up my exercise book and drew a red star in the bottom corner. I had done it. I got my first merit mark (first of very few, it would transpire), and was the only one out of the class to receive one. This happily tempered my disappointment at being awarded a stingy seven.

My Dad was (and is) not one for sentimental nice shit and we didn't spend huge amounts of time together when I was young as he doesn't like sports or running around, but this was one of the few times that we did something together and it was great. He didn't do any of the work for me, but gave me some directions, including letting me use his saws and a blowtorch. Thanks dad.

Length? It was 14 inches long, with a head 5 inches wide.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:51, 5 replies)
if you don't enjoy being bullied at your comprehensive school, don't submit a project called "my two week holiday in Disneyworld".
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:25, Reply)
for my GCSE design project
our brief was to improve an existing design. basically make what you like.

i made a small wooden chair whereby the back of the chair was hinged and as such could fold forward into a horizontal postion to create an impromptu coffee table. voila!

only managed a D though. cunts.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 13:17, 4 replies)
Abstract art
I was one of those kids in school who was naturally gifted, shall we say. Bright enough to manage anything I wanted to, consistently good marks across the board. It’s not that I was spectacularly talented at everything, just had a decent head on my shoulders.

As is the case with people like me, you find that if you don’t really start knuckling down you will start slipping, because raw intelligence will only get you so far. Fact is, I was and remain epically lazy, so I slipped. This is getting a bit far from the story… art. Art had never been my strong point, I had always looked upon it with some derision as I couldn’t see where it would help, or how drawing a pretty picture had anything to do with education. So as I remember, my art grades were generally average to poor. I wasn’t fussed. The idea I'm trying to get across is that I am reasonably clever, I just don't really give a fuck.

My major strong point was and always will be English. I still didn’t care enough to put the effort in, but I ‘get’ it, particularly language development and such. Doing an English Lit and Lang AS Level, I had to go on a residential trip to Wales – 2 ½ days for lit, 2 ½ for lang. One of the weirdos who had to stay all week. Spent much time having much fun on the lang part, going to primary schools and reading to kids, checking out ancient gravestones for the language, blah blah. The lit lot showed up Wednesday afternoon, and we got down to that section. Reading plays (I remember doing Llareggub), composing poems from bits of rubbish we found on the hill, more blah blah.

Where does art enter here? One afternoon our lit teacher – absolute hero, the only teacher I could call a cunt, the only one who loved skunkz as much as me, and a keen artist who exhibited locally. He gave us each a line from a poem – I forgot what – and told us to do a piece of abstract art drawn from our line.

So we set to work. All given a few colours to draw in, a sheet of paper, and basically draw until we were happy. I went into this expecting very little – I saw abstract art as squiggles and lines, it meant virtually nothing to me, aside from what I’d picked up in media studies. I knew there were a few ‘art boffins’ in the class, including some who went on to do degrees in art. So I sat there, happily gurgling away and basically about as involved as a toddler finger painting, while people around me meticulously interpreted.

Next thing I know, it’s show time. All of them collected in, and he starts going through. He’s quite impressed by a couple, including a friend’s absolutely stunning rat, I can’t really explain it but it was brilliant. She was berated however, for ‘adding whiskers’. Another showed a night scene of bats over a city which he liked.

Suddenly, he yells ‘whose is THAT!’ and I see him holding aloft my retard-piece. Somehow I’d apparently crafted a perfect abstract representation of my piece of poetry, and I had no idea what I was doing. He placed them first to last and put them in the English corridor, my piece of shit taking pride of place above the runners-up, all done with infinitely more technical skill than mine.

I guess I’m just an artistic genius, I just don’t even know it myself. And I can’t draw for shit.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 12:45, 5 replies)
Petri dishes
Science was always fun. When we were around 14 we had to put various things in Agar jelly (sp?) in a petri dish, and have a look a week later to see what it had turned into.

We could put what we wanted in - a blade of grass, an eye lash, that kind of thing.

Hayden's petri dish was labelled "spunk" - and it was too. They had to get special cleaners in to scrub the lab down, as this was a potential bio hazard.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 12:31, 2 replies)
Extension group
The handful of slightly more gifted kids in our year were allowed to skip certain lessons to attend 'extension group'.
We would be treated like adults, even though we were only 12 years old, and would be taught a variety of fun, yet educational, extra-curricular subjects.

During one such period, we were assigned to come up with an idea for a new piece of confectionary and create an advert for it.
At the time, VCR camcorders were quite a novelty and we had to submit our presentation via this medium. This was our chance to make a video, cool.

We came up with our idea and made our advert, which was handed in on VCR and the teachers sat down to watch it.
There were some good ones to start with, all receiving much praise.

Then came ours.
Did I mention we were told that we would be treated like adults?

In our heads, being 'treated like adults' meant being allowed to stay up late to watch Young Ones or Spitting Image, so something kind of rubbed off.
The teachers' faces were agog when we appeared on screen marketing Jelly Y-Fronts uttering the words, "Look at the Cola shit stains" and "Savour the lemon flavoured piss".

We resumed 'normal' class very soon after
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 12:24, Reply)
Stupid Hamster Teacher
More coursework than project, but I still took a great deal of pride in writing my English GCSE coursework on Shakespeare. It involved letters from Banquo to his wife as we were studying Macbeth.

I spent hours tracing a really beautiful and ornate border onto a sheet of A4, photocopying many pages, before writing in pen and ink in stunning calligraphy. I then devoured a thesarus and produced some of the most insightful prose ever written.

My teacher maarked it and returned it to me- I was expecting an A or A* at the very least - I tunred the page and she had given me an A/B.

A/B???? Either is was an A or a B. Simple.

BUT to add insult to injusry- she added the comment 'did you have some help with this?'

I was outraged - how can you give me an A/B - on the assumption I didn't write it?????

Mrs Higgens, John COlet School, 1996 - I hated you then and I hate you still (she was the one with bad hair, bad teeth and looked like a hamster. Shit teacher as well)

If she is still out there.....
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 12:22, 3 replies)
CDT wasn't for me
Wooden toilet roll holder.

One slight design flaw, you couldn't replace the toilet roll.

Nicely sanded though.

Perhaps the most eco-unfreindly device ever created a use once wooden toilet roll holder.

Good wipage that
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 11:46, 3 replies)
Not school, but uni...
We had to make a robot that did clever things, but sadly having scammed my way into Cambridge without the required intelligence - certainly not in the field of engineering - I had to improvise.

I was ultimately penalised for securing various parts of my robot to each other with gaffer tape, rather than using a rivet gun, my reasoning being that riveting doesn't live up to its name. Given that the bugger worked, I felt hard done by.

My lab partner, however, identified that part of my problem was turning up to the 9am marking session still drunk from the night before, in a dinner jacket, and carrying a trumpet.

Astonishingly, I still have an MA (YES, AN MA) in Engineering.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 11:09, 10 replies)
Garfield is not Mickey Mouse
For some reason my Religious Studies teacher made us write essays on things we love.

I wrote about cartoons.

I got an F.


Well, see the title of this story...

You can't call Mickey Mouse 'Garfield' and expect an 'A' can you?
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 10:57, Reply)
English football
Back in the early life of the 'noughties' i was just starting my 5th year of secondary school in scotland. We had the new higher stills just drifting to the system so naturally we had no clue as to what we had to contend with. My english is generally very sound but my motivation is sorely lacking so out of the blue i was put in a general class for lack of work in the previous years with a pretty hard nut teacher. This general class only had about 16 pupils and for the first month it was a doddle until the teacher took ill and was away for about a month. During this month we had no teacher, had no work and had no idea what to do apart from play football with scrunched up pieces of paper. It was a good educational period until we had interim exam or a progress exam.

Interim exam? No one told us anything about that or the fact we were supposed to have learnt and read a poem before taking it!

Well...that exam didn't go too well especially since we were all still in the empty classroom playing paper football when it started. The head of department was not very pleased to see our expression of genuine surprise and lack of prep for it. He didn't belive us about not having a teacher for the whole month either. Bastard.

Sitting down in the exam hall with blank papers and a set of questions we had to write an essay on was not very fun. I remember clearly the absolute horror of sitting down for 3 hours writing bollocks or trying to fabricate a reasonable conclusion for all the question on a completely random subject. We all failed miserably and got put in an even lower class with retards. Our case was closed and locked!

Now i do technical authoring.
(, Tue 18 Aug 2009, 10:47, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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