Inspiring things take all kinds of forms, people, paintings, theatre, poems, and, of course, songs.
I really liked this Photosynthesis by Frank Turner
and I feel I should explain which of the lyrics mean a lot to me.
Oh maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems
And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams
All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will
Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled
They’re only saying this because they’re bored, unfilled and haven’t experienced life any other way. Fair enough. It’s not their fault. It’s up to you to take control. I’m much in awe of those who, at points in their lives where traditionally they go and get a super dull job and join the PTA at the local primary school (not that there’s anything wrong with PTAs!). I have so much respect for people who go out of their way to do exciting things they’re passionate about, whatever their situation.
Be that cycling to Australia, driving from China to Cape town, 28yro’s quitting their day jobs and taking a belated gap year, my paternal grandfather finally getting a degree in his late 80s, my maternal grandparents sailing into Poland behind the iron curtain on a 16 foot open dinghy.
If you’re bored and unfulfilled there’s only one person who can do something about that: you.
Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
Look I’m meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that’s your road then take it but it’s not the road for me
Shut up, sit down mediocrity, Let’s do this!.
I recently noticed that I got quoted in The Information Age, at the beginning of the year due to the UK Cyber Security Challenge.:
“Tim Dobson, a 20-year-old university student, does not remember his IT A-level course fondly. “In one lesson, our teacher asked us how to find the YouTube website,” he recalled.
Dobson added that he had always been interested in pursuing an IT career, but it “would have helped if the course was not such a failure”. He dropped out of his course before completing it.”
It’s funny, I don’t remember being a university student, but sadly, that anecdote about YouTube is correct.
Back in 2007, I was in an Applied ICT (Double award) A level lesson. These were one of the most dull things I’ve encountered in my life.
The class was working and suddenly the tutor, who’s also working on a computer asks the room,
What’s the address of ‘youtube’?
Sadly, no one responded
*ahem*. Let me just google that for you
Shouldn’t you be teaching us that?
We were too stunned.
In the end, someone just muttered “youtube.com” across the room.
Several years on, I asked one of my classmates whether they remembered those lessons:
Unfortunately I do… I loved wasting 2 years of my life that I’ll never get back.
Which is pretty much how I feel about it.
There were positive reactions to such a negative experience – my involvement with the free software community, the formation of DFEY and the building of direct links with technology companies in the area would never have happened if I hadn’t had such a bad experience.
I can’t help but wonder, however, what would have happened if it hadn’t been the way it was – contrary to the article above, despite some attempts by the college to remove me, I completed the course.
To this day, I’m still very proud to have passed an A Level in Applied ICT, at Grade E.