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ibstubro's avatar

Is there a skill you always thought you'd like to learn, but never did?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) April 30th, 2016
44 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

When I was young – teens into my 30’s at least – I wanted to try blowing glass.
I’ve collected glassware and things made of glass since I was 13, and I always thought it would be cool to make something beautiful and permanent from a blob of molten glass.

I’ve watched a glass blower at work, but his venue was small and his works pedestrian. I’d like to try that, but I’d love to watch a master at work, perhaps blowing some latticino glass. It just blows me away.

Is there a skill you always hankered to try/master?

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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Driving a car.

Soubresaut's avatar

Glass blowing would be pretty cool—well, not “cool” since it’s molten sorry bad joke, couldn’t resist… The latticino glass is gorgeous!

I’ve always wanted to learn braille. In first grade it was one of the elective options, and I put it as my first choice, but I was literally (yep, literally) the only first grader in three classes to choose it, so my teacher had to pull me aside on electives day and explain to me there wasn’t going to be a braille elective—one student wasn’t enough to do it—and I’d be doing whatever my second choice was. I don’t remember what I wound up doing—only that I didn’t get to do braille. Never made the time to learn it later—wasn’t really sure how to go about learning it later—but I’m somehow still a little bitter about it, haha, and would still like to learn.

I also wanted to learn the unicycle at one point, and tried a couple of times but never kept up the practice.

Also have always wanted to learn guitar—I was taking a class for a while but the commute got too difficult.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I would like to have learned to play the piano really well. I would like to be able to sit down at one and play any music with precision and style that came into my mind, or by ear after hearing it once, or off the sheets. I would like to be able to play anything and everything on a big grand piano.

ibstubro's avatar

There’s still time, @RedDeerGuy1. I was a late driver, myself.

Imagine that those are all individual threads of cold glass, heated wrapped in clear glass and then blown and formed, @Soubresaut. I have a dozen pieces or so.
Braille seems like something you could teach yourself? Unicycle is probably a young thing, but guitar would be cool. Have you tried picking it out yourself? Or an on-line tutorial? All those aspirations – get with it! lol

They tried to force me to learn pie-anna (j/k) as a kid, @Espiritus_Corvus, and I dislike piano music to this day. Sounds like you learned a little piano?
Give me horns!

Coloma's avatar

My father was an Architect and I inherited his designing eye, I would love to design and build a house but alas. probably not going to happen at this juncture of my life.
I also have always wanted to sculpt a giant piece of art, I love sculpting and did some nice work about 15 years ago, but probably not going to do a life size bronze horse anytime soon. haha

Soubresaut's avatar

@ibstubro haha, yes I gotta! I’ve been self-teaching guitar a bit, yeah. I’ve just not had the time in a while to keep at it (or to have storage space for the guitar—my apartment is small and I’ve had to move in and out yearly—heading back home over summers—so all my stuff has to fit into a car.) I’ve been thinking I could self-teach braille. I should get on that…!

Wow that’s an intricate art form! I mean, I guess it would have to be. But it’s so neat. The little bit of blown glass art I’ve seen is fairly mesmerizing to watch….

Mimishu1995's avatar

I found out that most of the skills I would like to learn weren’t within my ability. During my youth I had wanted and tried many things: piano, drawing, badminton, guitar (the latest), but most of the time I didn’t have enough willpower. But at that time I just thought I didn’t have the ability. Not until when I started learning Japanese did I realize that I could acquire a skill if I had enough commitment and a little bit of an ability. Now I’m considering horning my comic drawing skills, giving my pictures more shade instead of just objects with colors. Yeah, I still have to find out what I really want and what I’m really good at.

Cruiser's avatar


dxs's avatar


dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (4points)
zenvelo's avatar

Flying a private plane.

When I was in my twenties, I took a “co-pilot’s class” so if I was with my father when he flew, and anything happened, I could get the plane down. I loved it, I loved flying th plane.

And I was saving to take lessons when I got married. But my ex put the kibosh on that, saying she didn’t want to be a widow.

Now that I am older, I might try it once my kids get out of college.

johnpowell's avatar

Making croissants. They just seem like so much work.

anniereborn's avatar

Playing guitar/electric bass. (I have both of these. I bought them when I had some money, but I have never learned anything).

ibstubro's avatar

I’ve never even met an Architect, @Coloma, but architecture is a minor obsession of mine. Not from a technical standpoint so much as design. When I was a kid I would draw fantastical buildings, and I’d love to know some basics behind that.

Ah, I forget you’re still so young, @Soubresaut. :-) Hard for me to imagine an apartment so small there’s not room for guitar. (I come from the Midwest – land of wide open spaces.)
I wonder if Braille isn’t harder for the sighted to learn. Now that you mention it, Braille is something I’d like to know more about. Maybe an on-line tutorial.
And that glass, if you’re not familiar, is thin as a paper plate and light as a feather.

Explore, @Mimishu1995! You’re still young and in school. The more things you expose yourself to, the more likely you are to find a ‘niche’. Are you taking any classes that help with the comics?

I’ve known some people that taught themselves to juggle very well, @Cruiser. I think a good part is muscle memory?

But, you do sing, don’t you @dxs. I would have loved that, too, but I can’t carry a tune and there’s only so much that can be taught.

When I was a kid, one of my dad’s friend’s took up flying a private plane, and it was his passion. I think that was the only time I’ve been up in a single engine plane. Although I understand the appeal, that’s a little too much control for me.

Someone here made croissants, didn’t they, @johnpowell? Maybe @stinley? They were a day long project, I remember, but considered worth the time.
I’ve worked with phyllo, and it’s tedious, but gives a nice, flaky result without extraordinary effort.

I never mastered a musical instrument, @anniereborn, but you must have bought them with some idea that you could learn.
Do you at least get them out and noodle around with them? A shame to let the dream die.

anniereborn's avatar

@ibstubro Oh yes, I have noodled around with them quite a bit. Mostly I put on some favorite songs and pretend to play with them :p

The reasoning for buying the acoustic guitar was that I always wanted to be able to have music with me no matter what my circumstance. (at least most circumstance)

As for the electric bass, there was a time when I went to see local bands play a lot and developed some friendships with bass players. I don’t know, it just seemed like a really cool thing to play and just had to have one.

JLeslie's avatar

I wish I was more fluent than I am in Spanish. I’m pretty good now, but still far from perfect. I’d prefer to be able to speak at least 3 languages.

I wish I had pursued packaging engineering in school. Or, at minimum double majored within the business school.

I see the answers above for playing an instrument, and I am just fascinated by people who can play amazing music, such a wonderful skill. I wish I could do it, but I’ve never spent much time longing to be able to do it. I think it would have been a lot of work for me, even though I did very well learning piano as a young child. I think I would have plateaued.

cazzie's avatar

Welding. Computer coding. Brewing/wine-making. I figure I could learn the brewing and wine making, but I don’t really have the space for welding or the time to put into computer coding. My son is learning computer coding and I can follow along as he builds small programs in Python, but I think it would take me too long to learn to code effectively as I would want to right away and I would just get frustrated.

jca's avatar

I would like to learn how to upholster furniture. I always wished I knew or could learn from somewhere. If you can upholster furniture, you can take any piece of shit furniture, as long as it’s got “good bones” and renovate it to something incredible.

I also wish I knew how to sew well. I have a machine, I joined a national sewing guild, I attend the meetings, but outside of the meetings I don’t sew. I concluded I am intimidated by the intricacies of the machine. I guess I hear about people having trouble with their thread tension, bobbins, and whatever, and the thought of possibly running in to that makes me leery. I used to sew and I’d like to start it up again, and have my daughter learn to sew, also. I feel like if she can design and make herself some cool clothes and if I can use a pattern for myself and make myself some things, those would be some excellent benefits.

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (1points)
ucme's avatar

Knit spaghetti, all in the pasta now

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I don’t know why I didn’t remember I want to be able to sew better. I make pillows and simple things, but I’d live to make dresses, skirts, and swim cover-ups. I think about taking classes now and then.

I agree about the upholstering too. A women who worked for me years ago, her husband was an upholsterer. He worked for a company that upholstered the interior of cars, but he could do regular furniture too.

ragingloli's avatar

showing mercy

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ibstubro No, there is no class that can help me, or at least I can’t find one around. Most of the drawing classes here aim at “realistic” drawing. You know, the kind of drawing when you face an object/scenery and try to recreate it on paper. Partly it is because of the mentality that comics are for kids. I have self-taught comic drawing, I think I can do it again.

cazzie's avatar

I need to add dancing on a professional level. I would have loved to learn ballet properly. I’m small with bird bones and I think I could have been good at it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ride a unicycle, walk a slackline.
I’ve tried repeatedly and just can’t seen to get it right. I stay up or on as long as my luck holds out. I don’t have the control.

cookieman's avatar

Playing piano. As I’m only in my mid-forties though and have a pretty good ear, this is still do-able.

Just gotta make the time.

ibstubro's avatar

Language, other than English, has been a particular weak point for me, @JLeslie. As a matter of fact, it’s the reason I don’t have a college degree. Why do you need more Spanish? I know your husband’s family speaks it, but is there stuff you’re missing?

Yes, the wine making an brewing is easily enough mastered, and in a relatively small space, @cazzie. I have a friend that bottles 100’s of bottles a year. And your son’s getting old enough that you might be able to segue into code as he gets more independent?

I have more than one relative that does a good job of upholstering that’s self-taught, @jca, @JLeslie . If you get cheap furniture and cheap cloth, there’s not much to loose. I think the main thing that training saves is time – otherwise disassemble, recreate, and reassemble seems great training.
I still have some things my Great Grandmother sewed. She raised 8 kids and sewed everything, including winter coats. Once again, I think most of her knowledge came from disassembling clothing so she could size it down for younger kids.

Start small, @ragingloli, and work up. Like you could start here as a practice for real life.

There’s on-line help, @Mimishu1995. I know that’s of very limited value, but can give a jump-start when you find hands-on training.

Probably too late for you to start professional dancing, @cazzie, and I know you don’t have time to volunteer to work with local kid’s dance. I was forced to take tap as a boy-child. I liked the noise, lacked rhythm.

There’s lots of unicycle instructions on the internet, @LuckyGuy, including this one from a non-spring-chicken with practical advice. You have my (our) complete confidence that you can master this in short order. You just need to find the right direction.

Well, if you want to do it, and it’s doable, @cookieman, get on it. Do you have a piano? Do you have room for a piano? I see a few here, in the Midwest, free-for-the-taking every year.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Pilots license
another language

JLeslie's avatar

@ibstubro It’s mainly because of my inlaws that I wish I was more fluent. Too much miscommunication with my MIL. Although, even if my Spanish was perfect I’d still miscommunicate with her. I’d also like to be more fluent for better job opportunities.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think I’d have been a great cop or vet, alas they’re both out of reach now. Piano would have been nice, I love art but no skills to create any.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I was in an advanced private kindergarten in Virginia.

I was being taught French and German alongside English.

My family moved to Florida for my father’s big career break and I attended public first grade.

Had I stayed in that Virginia school I would be fluent in three languages.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I always wanted to get my private pilots license, but after the brother inlaw was killed in his small plane I sorta gave up on the idea.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Cooking & baking. It would be nice to see something that looks delicious, then be able to run into the kitchen and duplicate it. But (for me) that never works, and even with a recipe in hand my efforts always amount to raising the pyramids. When it comes to cullinary skills, the wife thank God has great talent. Anything I attempt to cook up, the wife can achieve in half my time with consistently spectacular outcomes that put me to shame.

Mariah's avatar

My bucket list is mostly made up of skills I’d like to learn. Glass-blowing is on it. So are welding and wood-turning.

I figure I’ve got plenty of time still though.

Coloma's avatar

Oooh, I’d love to sing too. I used to sing fairly well but didn’t have the range to be really, really, amazing.

Pachy's avatar

Piano playing. I wish I had been encourged to learn when I was young. In my 40s I took private lessons but it was too late—I just couldn’t get it.

jca's avatar

I took piano lessons when I was a young teen. Private lessons given by one of my grandmother’s friends. A little old genteel lady who gave the lessons in her charming little house – very old fashioned. The songs I learned were “old lady songs” which I could not identify with and didn’t even know if I was playing correctly because I had never heard them before. I still say if I had been taught something contemporary that I could identify with (say, Elton John or Billy Joel songs), I would have enjoyed it more and “gotten it” more. I may have stuck with it.

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (0points)
cookieman's avatar

@Pachy! You’re not giving me hope here elephant. ;^)

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would like to be able to program some modern languages. I took Java and failed the class with a 1 out of 9.

kritiper's avatar

Bass guitar.

Pachy's avatar

LOL, @cookieman.

Funny thing is, I’ve got a great ear—starting as a younster I could easily pick out simple melodies on a keyboard. I just never was able to learn how to read music. Of course, neither could my man Sinatra, but look how far HE got.

Cruiser's avatar

@kritiper Bass guitar is nirvana and if you do pursue it….make sure you have the right guitar and enough wattage on the amp/rack to where just touching the strings as if you plucked an eyelash and it then kicks out the sound you want….HS My son is a bass guitarist and to play the rig he has set up would blow your mind.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Playing guitar – I don’t think I’ll ever get it.
I too fancy glass blowing.
I’d like to be able to speak Italian and French.

ibstubro's avatar

I had no idea there was so much interest in – so much awareness of – glassblowing as an art/skill. These days even the most delicate pieces are inexpensive. I have an amazing number of the items shown here.
Blenko is still going strong and Viking is a good seller, but beautiful glassware, in general, is going begging at this time. A lot of antique Czechoslovakian glass can be bought cheaper than new at Target.

ibstubro's avatar

GA to all, and thanks for sharing your dreams and desires with us. Many of them can still be achieved if you start soon. Many others can be lived vicariously through encouraging the youths in our lives.

Cruiser's avatar

@ibstubro My brother is a world class glass blower and I have had the opportunity to blow a couple pieces myself and it is a fascinating art form to say the least. If anyone wants lessons with one of the best I can hook them up.

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