Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Via Wil Wheaton. This article tells the trials and tribulations of Alison Berkley, who is a snowboard instructor at Aspen, Colorado, and how she have to work with the youth of today. They can be a bit overweight and glued to a video game. Then she gets canned by Aspen for her writing about it.

I can relate some of her comments about teaching snowboarding, because from 1995 to 1998 I taught snowboarding too. I can say it was a great gig. It had some advantages of free snowboarding, food at normal cost (hot chocolate at 25 cents versus $1.35), and partying with some hell raisers.

All I had to do was teach three times a week. I taught on Saturday mornings to get the best parking spot, since I was staff and I showed up early to get the first run down the slopes to make sure they were safe with the Ski Patrol. I did two sessions on the morning. Most of the time they were packed 10 to 15 students that lasted about an hour and a half. Sometimes I got to teach a private lesson and that was for a hour and I made 15 bucks. I even taugh some royality from Europe and got a twenty buck tip!

Then I taught on Mondays or Tuesday because they had after school programs and they were easy, most of the time. The exception was when a school dumped their “special ed” students on me. I tried to teach them, but they left me since I had to ensure their safey because they had to follow instructions. They told me to F&$# off. So I told them to do the same.

The only time that sucked was over the Christmas holiday and management “requested” us to teach five or six session in three days. It was raining cash! Most of my students were from Boston, New York City and New Jersey. There was one mother who was watching me teach her six year old son. She was in a fur coat, yelling at the kid. This was his first time on a snowboard and he was scared. She kept yelling at me “get him on the lift.” He was having a hard time learning how to turn, go straight or control the board. That was on the beginer "slope." I was trying to make it a fun experience and told him he would need a few more lessons. After the lesson his mother started to scream at me screeching that she wanted her money back. I told her to talk to my boss and she started to stomp over to the school. My boss thanked me for sending a psycho to him.

Also I had to teach two drunken yuppies from NYC, who wanted to know where “to score some tail.”

If you want some more war stories from the slopes just write to me and we can make arrangements.
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