Sunday, 22 March 2015

Instructor training

Events are forcing me to actually do stuff.

I've been considering going into instructor training for a while, and have been doing so for a month or two with someone who's already someway along the road to becoming one.

With it being a one to one thing, I just charge him my standard rate for my time. He puts in between two and four hours a week with me, and I do my best to get him sitting in, free of charge, on a variety of different kinds of lesson.

But now, I've given someone a couple of refresher lessons, and she reckons she'd quite like to be an instructor herself. The situation is complicated by the fact that she has a Maltese license.

I wasn't sure about whether she could qualify to be an ADI, but she's over 21, has held a full license for more than 3 years, and her license, is an EU license. Malta is part of the European Union.

I need to formulate precisely a strategy on method, pricing, etc.

It's coalesced into a 3 pronged thing. This is a good thing I think, because it allows people in a wide variety of situations to use my services.

Without nailing down any specifics, here is what I have in mind...

Offer not one but three pricing plans.

1. Buy my time per hour for the £ X per hour.

That's what my current trainee is doing. He's passed his part two.

That need explanation of course. To become someone who can teach driving for money, you have to pass three tests, which have to be passed in strict order. : A theory test, a driving test, and a teaching test. The theory test (part one) is relatively easy if you revise assiduously. The driving test (part two) is hard. The teaching test (part three) is the main reason why only eight of every hundred driving instructor applicants go on to become fully qualified.

He's paying me by the hour. In the short term, it's an affordable way of doing things. In the long term, he may end up paying me quite a lot of money.

2. Pay £ X up front, and get unlimited hours.

I trained on this basis. My trainer offered a guarantee of passing my part two, and when I failed it (I was shitting myself! - See PIE triangle) I was able to keep attending the sessions without having to outlay further cash.

This method gives the trainee a degree of certainty, but confronts them with more formidable up front costs. I asked my mum for help, and she loaned me the money. I paid her back over the next couple of years.

3. Pay nothing up front, but be contracted to work for me as a franchisee for X months once fully qualified.

A couple of years ago, when I was struggling to make a living, I applied for a job as a bus driver. The bus company offered this sort of deal. They train me for free, but I work for them for 2 years on full pay once qualified. If I leave or get sacked, I'm liable for the full cost (a couple of grand) of training. This model might, with a bit of thought, be adaptable to my profession.

A poor instructor tells their pupils how to drive. A good instructor asks them how to drive.

Now how's that for a snappy soundbite? That's the way it is, in a nutshell though. It's a process of guided self observation, although you need to be able to provide the filler for any gaps when required.

So I'd be looking to teach several trainees at once, probably by hiring one or a couple of other instructors, and taking on a partly organisational role.

Given that I've not even had one trainee instructor pass their test  yet, this may seem a bit presumptuous, but I've been doing this for long enough now to know what I'm doing.

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running up that hill

sex has a profile. it starts slow and speeds up. geting more and more intense until it peaks with an orgasm and tails off back into langour.

This profile is duplicated in horse racing commentaries.

driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Eek! Lips!

Meh. Overcast. Again. At least it was during its most total minutes. Thin cloud allowed direct view before and after.

More to say later.

driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A new dimension

This blog being what it is, I couldn't let this go without some kind of comment.

Google have rendered Merseyside in 3d. Well not quite all of it, but an awful lot of it. From Garston and Speke in South Liverpool, right up to Crosby. From pastoral Gayton, right down on the South West corner of Wirral, right across to the industrial estates of Knowsley and Kirby. Anywhere they've surveyed recently, which doesn't cover where I am now. No doubt it will soon enough.

The level of detail is remarkable, as is it's ability to render itself very quickly. Having a cooked PC and a fast internet connection no doubt helps. Must give it a try on my old laptop.

The generated landscape is both obviously artificial, and instantly recognisable to anyone familiar to the area.

We were wondering how they did it. It seems probable that they're using aerial photographs (presumably they've had drones or light aircraft going around for the last few months)

This means it doesn't do things that have underneaths very well. By way of example, here are two views of the three main football stadia...

First of all, Prenton Park.


Then Goodison Park


Then Anfield


All fine and dandy.

But here's how it looks from inside.

Prenton Park:


Goodison:


Anfield:



Not quite there is it? Just a squared off compromise using local colours.

Still, it's rather impressive to be able to see my local turf as an abstract 3 dimensional sandbox, where I can wander at will.

I've read that this is just the beginning, and Google will be rolling this out far more extensively in the future.




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Saturday, 14 February 2015

minds eye

Picture a terrorist.

What you see depends upon context of course. If you're over a certain age, and you live in the British Isles, or Spain, you might have in mind someone in paramilitary garb, planting nail bombs in the litterbins of London and Madrid.

But it's more likely that you pictured someone with a beard and a Koran.

This certainly is what you get when you do a google image search for "terrorist"

What brought this to mind was a post I read somewhere. The poster had arrived at a UK airport, and was dismayed to find the person manning the security checkpoint was a Muslim.

"I had an altercation with a bloke at Luton airport going through security who quite frankly looked like he could have been a member of Isis , why is it in England we employ people on security and passport control who look far more likely to be a terrorist than any normal person ??? ....anyway apparently I had committed the cardinal sin of having a re sealable plastic bag that was bigger than the dimension allowed.....had I wanted to blow up the plane however...looking at the state of him I am sure that would have been fine." 

Standard issue bigotry of course, but it did get me wondering.

Google images is a repository not just of image data but of cultural prejudice. The link above makes that very clear.

So what else could I look for?

Well how about "Rapist"?

The most obvious defining feature of a rapist is facial hair. Well, being male then having facial hair. A high proportion of black people in there too. Obviously, black males with facial hair should not be allowed to take jobs where they could end up alone with other people. Like Driving Instructor for example.

"Paedophile"?

Paedophiles are almost without exception male, white, middle aged, connected in some way to show business, and have odd hairstyles.

Women, such as "Gemma", "Lisa", "Sarah", "Tanya" etc. generally don't wear much in the way of clothing. They can also be found pouting provocatively while leaning forwards to show off their heaving bosoms to best effect.

Anyway, back to terrorism. It's surprisingly difficult to define. I found a good article about it here: http://people.howstuffworks.com/terrorism.htm

Well worth a read.

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