Successful and Unsuccessful Learning Experiences
When I was about fourteen years old I wanted to go on a skiing trip to Austria with my school, my parents said they would pay for the for the spending money I was saving my wages from my part time job helping the milkman. I had one major problem, I couldn't ski!!!
I didn't want to travel all the way to Austria and then learn to ski, my train of thought was that if I was going to Austria , I wanted to be able to go up to the top of the mountains and see all the wonderful views. I also wanted to able to ski freely all week without being watched over by the teachers or skiing instructors and I knew this would not be a possibility if I was unable to ski.
So I had to find somewhere where I could learn to ski before we left and the place would have to be near to Coventry because I would be depending on public transport to get there. I enquired at my school about any provisions that they were taking to teach the pupils how to ski, from this I learnt that the school was going to run a course of skiing lessons at a dry ski slope in Birmingham, at the Ackers Leisure Centre.
I attended the classes with the school and quickly realised that because of the size of the classes and the mental attitude of the pupils around me that I was never going to learn enough before I went on the trip, so when I went home that night I spoke to my parents and we decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands. So I telephoned Ackers and asked about receiving personal, one to one tuition. I explained the situation to the instructor over the telephone and the time limit I had to work within. The instructor was very helpful, and then arranged to meet for my first lesson. This was expensive but I knew it had to be done if I was going to have the skiing holiday I wanted. This went great and the one to one lessons worked excellently, being able to work closely with one other person in comparison to the big crowd was such a difference.
I took to the skiing lessons like a duck to water; my father, who had previously tried these lessons and he just couldn't get the whole balancing on two skies thing at all, so when I came home and told my parents how it went my dad was amazed. I suppose skiing is the same as any other activity or sport, you either can do it or you can't. In these lessons the instructor would ski down the slope in front of me backwards, guiding me all the way down the slope. Thinking about it now, this was probably to stop you falling over. This is the biggest fear for people learning to ski, this was not the case with me, I didn't care if I fell over or not I was so determined to ski that I felt nothing was going to stop me.
I advanced so much from the first lesson; I was skiing down from the top of the slope at the end. When I stepped out onto the slope an hour previously I couldn't even work out how to stand up in the boots! After my first lesson the instructor and I had a chat about what I really wanted to be able to do by the time I went to Austria, I told him about wanting to ski freely without being watched over and being a skier he just seemed to understand immediately. He suggested that I had another lesson with him the following week, which I was more than happy to pay for; after all I could now see my goal insight.
The next lesson I was taught various turns and even the instructor said that he hadn't ever seen anybody get the hang of it as quick as me, looking back I suppose this encouragement and positive attitude of the instructor helped me more than I every even knew. Some how I felt like I had known this man I'd just met forever, we gelled really well, which helped me learn much quicker, over the next few years are friendship would grow and grow but I didn't know this then.
After the second lesson the instructor was convinced that I was more than ready for Austria and advised me not to spend anymore of my hard earned money on one to one...
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