Saturday, 28 April 2018

"Selfish" and "Introvert" are not synonyms.

I'm thinking of asking my GP if I can be tested to see if I'm on the autistic spectrum. I think I probably am. But why bother? It's not like anything can be done about it.

Well, the thing is, I've done many stupid things over the years, and sometimes I've hurt other people around me. Not out of malice, but because I just didn't know how to do stuff, like relate to other people.

There is a psychic cost to such things. I feel a lot of guilt about some of the events that have occurred in my life. I don't know if being diagnosed as Aspergers would help, but it would certainly help explain.

In other news, My Dad is still waiting for a diagnosis/prognosis. It's probably Non Hodgkins Lymphoma by the looks of things. He's had that for a good few years now too. The medical opinion when he was first diagnosed was that he'd probably be dead before it killed him. For now we wait for more news.

Oh, and I've had a couple of people pass their tests. One particular sequence I'm pleased to see the end of.

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

D day

My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer about seven years ago. He survived it at a cost.

Now his PSA levels are high again. He was called in to his local oncology department a few weeks ago for tests.

We find the results today.

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018


Well, I stuck to my guns, and refused to give in , and ultimately, prevailed.

Since then, my performance has nosedived, at least using test results as an indicator.

No instructor has a 100% success rate. There are just too many variables, not all of which are directly connected with driving. So we have both passes and fails, that come more or less randomly. Sometimes I get a run of passes, sometimes a run of fails. And sometimes, a sequence of alternating passes and fails. That's just the way of it. Just numbers and statistics and stuff. Just because I have a lot of consecutive passes, doesn't mean I'm some wunderkind instructor. A lot of consecutive fails don't mean I've somehow become worse at what I do.

Still, it's hard, when things are going well, not to feel that I'm God's gift to driving instruction, and when things don't go well, it's hard not to question myself, and wonder if I could be doing things differently.

So here are my numbers from the last 6 months... X = Pass. O = fail.

October 2017: XOXOOX (50% pass rate)
November 2017: OOO (0% pass rate)
December 2017: X (100% pass rate)
January 2018: XOOOXX (50% pass rate)
February 2018: OOOO (0% pass rate)
March 2018: OOOOOO (0% pass rate)

Ten successive fails is my worst ever run by some margin. So what's happening here?

Well, partly, it's just the luck of the draw, as I explained above. The overall pass rate nationwide is just a bit under 50%. Close enough for "Heads or Tails" to be a useful metaphor. Sometimes I will flip a lot of one or the other.

Partly, the test itself changed in early December. Perhaps I've not done enough to prepare myself or my pupils for the new aspects of the test.

Yet I find myself wondering...

I haven't become a crap instructor over the last few months. Could it be that this, or at least some of this is payback? Surely not. Such a thing would be an outrageous abuse of position, and I have to say, on the 3 or 4 tests that I sat in on in 2018, the fails were marked correctly. Yet one or two of my pupils, on tests where I didn't sit in, really struggled to understand why they'd picked up serious faults.

It wouldn't be difficult to engineer a fail. Give instructions just a second or two later than usual to make people rush. Err on the side of harsh when any borderline situations arise. Be extra authoritarian in manner to crank up the nerves, etc.

Surely not.

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