LEARNING BY EXPERIENCE
I could have died many times in my life, not because of any unfortunate health events, but due to my stupidity and desire to ‘just see how it works’!
I remember as an 8-year-old, pestering my mother many times one morning about how long it was till Christmas, I ended up outside to play and ‘wait for lunch’. No screens or devices for me, so I decided I would go into dad’s workshop to see what was there to amuse me. I loved the smell of the oil and the old tools. I had already learned, through painful experience, how dangerous his big saws could be, and when I took the end of my finger off on his shooting plane, I realised tools were things to be respected.
So, standing in the centre of the workshop eyeing all the opportunities, my gaze fell on a box of shotgun cartridges. I knew what they were and I knew what they could do. I already had experience with men coming to our place shooting things thrown in the air. I loved the smell of gunpowder and decided I would like to see what it looked like. I took one out of the box and by industriously prying with an old 4” nail, I managed to unbend the waxed cardboard end and tipped out all the lead shot. I thought this was the gun powder so felt very proud of myself.
Not realizing what the little gold thing on the other end of the casing was, I took my trusty 4” nail, and with the cartridge sitting in the vice, put the pointy end on the little gold thing and unceremoniously struck the other end with dad’s hammer.
BANG ANG ANG ANG ANG ANG ang ang ang riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnng. I lifted off the ground with eyes wide open, grasping for my ringing ears and, like you see in the cartoons, my feet were pedaling air trying to get away from the scene of destruction. I ran outside completely sure my mum would have heard it and be coming out to see what mischief I had got up to.
I couldn’t hear a thing except for the infernal ringing. I patted my ears and lay on the ground crying with fright and then, relief. Mum hadn’t heard because she was a long way away, and I made a decision not to tell her, nor anyone about it. I snuck back into the workshop and looked for the cartridge – it was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed the shot, threw it in the garden and came in for lunch as nonchalantly as a deaf boy can. Mumasked a couple of times if Iwas alright as I hadn’t answered her from the kitchen. I said I was fine even though I was reading her lips a bit. The ringing had left by tea time and I chalked that one up as something not to do again.
As a teacher, I draw on my life experiences to help children grow and learn. I know how kids think and I tap into their curiosity. That is why you could help your child achieve academic success by bringing them in for a free lesson and assessment. Call us on 3543211.