Again I ask if you currently have a job vacancy need filling I hope you might find this list of background qualifications suitable. Otherwise I appreciate any help to derive unconventional connections from my cumulative skills and recommend compatible jobs that I am presently unaware of.
Beyond the classroom and out of water I have also experience public speaking, a skill most of us don’t appreciate until we’re asked to make a speech.
I don’t know why I entered the inaugural public speaking awards in the final year of primary school because I hate public speaking. Again I think there was stiff persuasion from my parents.
However the invaluable experience wasn’t in the act itself, but came from the process. Once the finalists were declared, our principle Ms Buckley announced she had chosen two of us to coach personally in preparation of an interschool public speaking championship.
Ms Buckley wore bangles up her arm like a Nubian so you could hear her coming – and not in a good way like a cow bell. It was a dull polymer k-chunk. And because the school was in an old functioning convent, the carpeted hallways diffused the weary floorboards beneath her heels. So the approaching sonorous douggh, k-chunk, douggh, k-chuck was veritably frightening.
In the playground the other finalists and me bitched and raged about how grossly unfair an advantage it created. Of course my dad had written my speech like everyone else. I was talking about Chad for fucks sake. Chad sounded like an exotic confectionary – I didn’t even know where the fuck it was beyond the African continent.
Still it was fucking unfair. We all knew we didn’t stand a chance of winning.
But when news of our lunchtime griping reached the principle, she proved surprise is an element equally shocking. She swept into our class without warning screaming like a banshee. She singled out us finalists with a manicured, proselyting finger, and obligated us to stand if we found the situation unfair.
It is the first time I remember feeling a confused gelatinous sense of victimisation, layered with compunction and treachery wobble in my gut like a toy on Duracell batteries. I suddenly understood the look of a snitch caught by the other prisoners in the POW films I’d seen.
I was angry. There almost seemed something improper, irreverent almost, about a grownup stampeding into a class flouting the sacred rules of the playground. We all knew what goes on in the playgrounds, stays in the playground. It was genetic – no one had to be taught it. And I righteously still believed the contest was unfair and felt betrayed by whoever dobbed us in.
I also desperately wanted one of the other finalists to stand up. I would follow. But I guess they were all thinking the same thing. We hadn’t learnt yet there was value sometimes in fighting grownups. It was probably because we hadn’t yet tasted the sweetness of a first victory. However I did feel bad because one of the two finalists Ms Buckley chose was my best friend at the time.
Needless to say my best friend won.
From this experience I can be entrusted to hold motivational talks to small groups of school kids, especially about the pitfalls of public speaking. I would warn all of them to never raise their hand, supply an opinion or stand on a pulpit. Instead I would preach conformity. I would encourage them to camouflage themselves in the clothes of their peers and keep their head in the trenches, blend in or sit on the fence, acquiesce, make up the numbers, marry the person you met on the internet and remember debt is the one think that makes you an adult.
Obtaining the highest year eleven biology aggregate was the only real legitimate academic award I ever received.
Because I fell ill during the end of year exam my final aggregate was determined by classroom results during the year. Many in the class including good friends felt it gave a misleading and inflated average, deriving the pressure of an exam situation would nominally have caused my aggregate to drop.
I had contracted Rubella and when I started to recover an unknown glandular virus took advantage to jump on top of my spleen and fuck me twice.
My skin was a mosaic pink pattern that itched like grass and sweat. And the glands in my groin, under my arms and behind my ears behaved like hernias. So all you in year eleven biology who thought I didn’t deserve this ward – Fuck You! It’s only biology anyway – we were all there because it was the easy science.
I think this justifies me to guide field trips, zoo excursions and safaris where you wouldn’t hear amateur mistakes like calling gibbons ‘monkeys,’ turtles ‘tortoises,’ dolphins ‘mammals,’ or, confusing tigers and lions, African and Asian Elephants, Emus and Ostriches and alligators and caiman from crocodiles. I could even narrate wildlife documentaries with an innate zeal I have for nature. My first name is Dave and I have an Australian accent, which both seem desirable in this field of endeavour.
I assert 7th Kyu is the highest rank I achieved in Shitoryu Karate however I have no evidence of this.
I liked the Shitoryu school of Karate (mainly because I got to say shit.) It also had an overtly simple ranking system. There weren’t the ostentatious colour schemes of other academies or codes of martial arts that my friends at school attended, who came to school each week boasting about attaining a new belt the colour lilac or kumquat, lemon, spearmint, tofu or raspberry.
We had three white belts before being awarded a colour. Each colour had two ranks; a colour tipped belt and a full colour belt. And there were only three colours standing in the way of black; yellow, green and brown (which was also cool because it gave a deceptive sense it was in some way achievable.)
You may have detected by now no matter what rank I was, I was still a white belt when in a single lesson everything changed. Our Sensei walked into class one day and ordered us to form a line.
This was highly unusual. Normally the lower ranks were ordered into regimented lines. We performed a number of warm-up exercises before conducting a series of block, punch and kick repetitions – maybe some inconsequential sparring – a warm down by running laps around the dojo – then sayonara.
Suddenly we were ordered to attack our Sensei in turn and order of the line. Being of low rank I had found myself towards the back, which I realised wasn’t fortunate because it gave me time to think. And what I was thinking was fuck, fuck, fuck.
Up until then all I had I done was kick and punch the air. I was quite happy kicking and punching the air. What did the air care? Our Sensei was an unnerving figure as well – an oriental Australian who always turned up to class with butterfly stitches on his forehead or eyebrow and grazed knuckles claiming something about self defence, or defending a woman. I knew we weren’t living in some kind of Gotham. I lived in the place where you knew a character from Neighbours was never, ever, ever coming back if they ‘moved’ here.
When it came my turn I settled on a naive resolve to punch – Crack – he slapped me over the back of head and said something about my technique. I didn’t care. I wasn’t listening. Relief was a cataract drowning out his voice. I walked back grinning and thinking to myself, ‘Well Dave, another close call avoided.’
And again ‘fuck’ was my only thought. This time I determined a simple design to kick – Crack – followed by something about my stance. Finally it was all over. The class resumed as normal but that night when I got into the car I said to my mum I didn’t want to do karate anymore.
I lived in a house of ‘no quitters.’ However I never wanted to do karate in the first place. I was suborned into it simply because my older brother wanted to learn karate then he left to do something that was deemed more substantial or important. I realised there must have been something wet and fragile in my eyes – maybe it was fear or possibly cowardice. It was certainly the look of the abused because even I was surprised when she simply replied, ‘We’ll talk to your father,’ which meant ‘Okay.’
I believe this training would augment my intrinsic value to a team of treasure hunters and salvaging mentioned in Part I, or someone with highly insurable valuables, yet values life above all else, or is so rich they wouldn’t give a shit if they got robbed.
At the same age I was bullied awake each weekday morning to attend swimming training I was also made to go to piano lessons after school once a week. My teacher was a bohemian living in a rich suburb with a big ginger beard that immured the odour of coffee and cigarettes. Each week he would give me assignment with an ambiguous theme, like compose a piece that sounds like a thunder storm, which was cool because the next week I just free formed it by bashing the low and high end of the piano.
I guess I am the nugget that proves a prodigy is more than the sum of autocratic parenting because the only the only thing I can still play is ‘chopsticks.’ And I’m pretty sure I didn’t learn that from my teacher. However if you own a novelty oversized piano and are in need of hiring people to recreate the department store scene in Big, I’m your guy.
Despite my disinterest with the piano a passion for music remained.
By grade six it was the late eighties and INXS and the saxophone were fucking cool. I pestered my parents to learn how to play it in preparation for encountering a French exchange student in high school so I could serenade her with a loud backing track like John Cusack in Better Off Dead.
My parents told me I had to learn the flute first because it provided a rich foundation in technique that corresponded to the saxophone. And if I persisted with the flute they would then buy me a saxophone. To my parents – Bravo!
Even at the time I found it slightly odd reasoning because I had a friend who played the clarinet. And although I knew both flute and saxophone were classed as woodwind instruments, I thought at least another reed based instrument like the clarinet was more appropriate to learn first. But I was so eager to play the saxophone I naively accepted the deal.
At that age I was still god fearing and my parents’ word was gospel. I hadn’t learnt grownups lie as well. And I didn’t realise learning the flute was purely a financial consideration. I blame my older brother who had previously pestered my parents to learn the guitar then gave up after two months. It wasn’t until I finished high school and bought a guitar with my own money so I could learn to play it that I realised my parents simply didn’t want to by stuck with an expensive saxophone because I got bored and quit.
The flute was okay, but it was bit gay and boring. No one had introduced me to Jethro Tull and Ron Burgundy was years away. So all I had was James fuckin Galway and the theme tune to the Pink Panther on cassette. If someone had told me about jazz flute I might not have ended up writing this blog.
However I probably would have continued learning the flute except I hate exams. And for some reason being a kid no one listened to me. The first lesson after being awarded B+ for my second grade examination my teacher said, ‘Now let’s start preparing for grade three.’ ‘For fuck’s sake, ‘ I thought. Give me a break. And in that moment I was already scheming on ways to quit during the lengthy summer break between primary school and high school.
I can still read music – well sort of… I know of quavers and semi quavers, treble cleft versus bass cleft, rest notes and the hollow note with the horizontal line through it equals four in a 4/4 timing.
I have to admit I really have no discernible talent in the field of music. I don’t know now why I mentioned it and I think I’m starting to sound rather unqualified, so I’ll move on.
I’m not sure if I should be depressed that my reference from Pizza Hut is still, to this day the best reference I possess.
At the same time I quit Pizza Hut I graduated university with a Bachelor in Arts, majoring in Film & Television and Creative Writing. The two aren’t related but it’s possible they influenced one another.
The degree perfectly suited my revulsion for exams because I spent three years making films and writing stories. Although I did hear exams were introduced after I graduated because the tutors and lecturers realised no one was learning anything.
We didn’t care. Those of us who were conscious of the media industry knew a university degree wasn’t necessary. In our final year a guest lecturer working in production even persuaded us to omit our degree from resumes and job applications because graduates had a bad reputation in the industry – they were cocksure and arrogant. No surprise there.
So why then would the head lecturer mention a lack of ‘real life’ experiences in my reference?
University by its very nature repels real life. That’s why some people never leave. I’m not saying it’s an inaccurate observation. I just don’t see why it needs to be included.
I just realised that is the reason until now I have never used this reference. Incidentally I’m yet to pay a single penny back from my university fees.
I hope this might assist anyone with a cool job that needs filling like an international house sitter, secret customer, test car driver, someone that likes toy models but is too busy, or lazy to assemble them, cloud spotter or tadpole catcher. And I hope you might find this list of background qualifications suitable. Otherwise I appreciate any help to derive unconventional connections from my cumulative skills and recommend compatible jobs that I am presently unaware of.
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