01 February, 2010

I'm Too Old for Homework

One of the joys of a mid life crisis is you get to do things you always wanted to do when you were a kid but never got the opportunity. Everybody is so scared of you that nobody will be honest and tell you it's a dumb idea and you are too old. This is a good thing as their opinions don't matter.

My mid life crisis has been a long and drawn out affair and I'm nowhere near finished yet. So far I have quit my job, bought a convertible car, attended art classes, starting wearing Converse shoes and I am learning how to play the guitar.

Learning the guitar had been something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. I was given a guitar for my seventh birthday. I made several attempts to teach myself from badly photocopied books and failed miserably. Finally my guitar was given away to a younger cousin and I moved on with my life.

Fast forward many, many years to the present time. I decide to give it another go. Armed with a new three quarter sized classical guitar I start to take group lessons. I probably should warn you before we go any further that I'm not musically inclined. Not even slightly. Since I have started learning to play my neighbours have put their house on the market twice, the cats now leave the room when I practice and I've stop bothering to tune the guitar as it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference to the noise I create. In short, my playing will make your ears bleed.

Group lessons are great. Ten raw beginners making a hideous cacophony of sound. I'm sure if you look carefully you will be able to see the paint on the walls trying to peel itself off so it can leave the room. It was easy for me to hide my lack of talent and ability when there are nine other people who suck as much as me.

I was able to learn some basics but if I wanted to make any real progress then I needed one-on-one lessons. I found a lovely young lady who gives lessons near my home and have been getting tuition from her since late last year.

Today was my first lesson after the Christmas break. In the final lesson last year I was given homework which I ignored until yesterday. This is standard operating procedure for me: leave things to the last minute only to realise I have completely underestimated the amount of time needed. I was screwed. There was no way I was going to be able to learn the new song in time. I was getting flashbacks of having to write lines in school detention.
Homework in not an optional extracurricular activity.
Homework in not an optional extracurricular activity.
Homework in not an optional extracurricular activity.
Homework in not an optional extracurricular activity.
100 times in my neatest handwriting.

There was no way out of it. I was just going to have to admit I'd done bugger all in the last month. I braced myself for the look of disappointment and the stern lecture telling me that I will never amount to anything if I'm not going to try.

The strangest thing happened.

During the Christmas break my tutor had thought it would be a good idea to shave off most of her hair and dye whatever was left white with occasional patches of pink. I was craving approval from a kid who looked like a plucked chicken. She probably couldn't care less if I did my homework or not. I'm an adult and I don't have to do my homework if I don't want to!!

No, I was wrong. My tutor gave me a disapproving look and gave me a much harder song to learn for next week.

I need to go and practice now.


  1. Wow, what a fabulous thing to do. I can't wait to have my mid-life crisis! Do you know what the minimum age requirement is? :P

  2. PS - I have something for you at my blog: