One of the really hard things about teaching is that what you’re teaching isn’t always sexy. It may be vital, needful, essential information, but those kinds of things are rarely something you wake up and smile about in the middle of the night. I teach about sewing machine needles, stabilizers and how machines work, The thread part is endlessly fascinating and fun. The needle part, not so much. Unless you’ve figured out a way to make it either funny or sticky.
I first ran into the concept of “Sticky” information in a book called The Tipping Point. It was in terms of advertisement, which is the kissing cousin of education. Both are about saying things in a way that stays with people. You see it in political campaigns as well. Most people can’t give you the full details of “Remember the Alamo”,” Tippecanoe and Tyler too”. or ”We will not crucify humanity on a cross of gold.” But those phrases, whether you remember the context ,stick. Most people with even a rudimentary education or a TV know them. The phrase needs to almost ring through you;re head. If it’s funny, well that helps too.
So here are some of the technological things I say in hopes that they will stick. In class I make students say them with me. I’m shameless.
- Lefty Loosy, Righty Tighty: This is the way the screw world works most of the time except when it does. It’s vital information. Like most things the theory and practice can be different.But when you’re trying to figure out how to turn a screw, this is a really good bet.
- New Day New Needle, New Project, New Needle: Just really good advice. Needles don’t just break. They get dull, bend, develop burrs and generally stop working. A bad needle is a really bad day. Change it out whenever you’re having trouble and get your good day back.
- Thick Thread, Straight Stitch: You can zigzag with 8 weight thread. I could also eat chocolate and toss it down with rum and coke. Bot h of these are really bad ideas ( Trust me!) I’ve sewn my needle plate to my piece that way more times than I care to count. Should that happen ( I know you’re listening, but just in case) don’t pull anything. Cut your bobbin loose, remove the needle plate and shave or rip the stitches out. You won’t mess up your machine’s timing that way.
You’ll find the Tipping Point on Amazon.com and probably at your local book store. It’s a fabulous book about why things become fads and why we all do them together.
I come complete to every class with as many good tips, ideas and helpful stances as I can pack in my suitcase and /or my head. And that’s what teaching is all about. Making people more able with what you know. Check my class page for the new and classic classes I offer guilds, groups and stores.