What’s the best thing you learned from your dad?
In honor of Father’s Day, we got to thinking about how dads (and other father figures) serve as teachers for so many of us in all different areas of our lives. Here are just a few things we at Udemy have learned from our fathers, both highly useful life lessons and silly stuff that makes us good party guests. Thanks to all the dads out there, and keep up the good work!
Alex, Director of Customer Support
Knots — from the square knot to the truckers hitch to securing a hammock, my dad loved knots and rope and taught me how to apply them. He also taught me to measure twice and cut once. To tie my shoes the right way. To cook eggs perfectly in any style.
Alice, UX Design
One of the best (mostly useless) skills I learned from my dad was how to get backspin/underspin on my ping pong serves. It’s really useful when playing with beginners.
Andrew, Customer Support
My father taught me to write. He would have me sit next to him as he read, first silently and then aloud, anything I had written for school. During the out-loud portion of the ordeal, he would mark phrases, words, or passages and ask, “What did you mean by this?” I’d tell him and he would say, “Okay, then say that.” He was merciless when it came to using his red pen on my work, but that experience taught me that good writing is really a matter of reading and rewriting. My father never taught me to shave, though.
Archie, Director of Growth
I learned about management — as a skill and a practice — from my dad and strive to follow his example. One of his former colleagues said that the most valuable thing he learned from my dad was how to believe in people, and I also aspire to having that same positive impact on people around me.
Cara, Udemy for Business
I definitely learned from my dad the art of networking, tenacity and persistence, and staying positive in the face of adversity. I was always told that I “should be in sales” and never wanted to go that route. When I finally realized that sales is built on the art of the relationship and embarked on this career path, it was a direct result of my father and the spirit and enthusiasm he has always demonstrated in this line of work.
Che, Customer Support
My dad taught me that I am in control my emotional state. While it sounds obvious and possibly a little narcissistic, this is one of the most helpful a-ha moments from my childhood. He also taught me how to get soaking clothes bone-dry within five minutes by using just a towel.
Christopher, Udemy For Business
My two favorite skills my father taught me: how to spit a cherry seed over 30 feet; how to identify and forage for mushrooms in the forest.
Claire H., VP of Engineering
One of my fondest childhood memories is my dad-designated dog grooming day. He would get his full set of shears and clippers out and get ready to groom our two dogs, a maltese and an airedale terrier, out in the yard while I held onto them. The style was always “as much hair off of the dogs as possible.” I now have a short-haired French bulldog that doesn’t need much grooming, but as soon as I say the word “bath,” he runs away and hides. I never learned how to groom dogs myself, but I learned to love dogs from my dad.
Claire M., Product Experience
My dad taught me how to cook a *killer* tortellini con panna (and guacamole) — he’s a great chef!
Danny, Associate Creative Director
I got my understanding of light and shadow from my dad. I have a memory of him holding a 6B pencil in my hand and shading with me. I was 5.
I didn’t learn many skills from my dad, but I did learn love of music, the fun in cooking a great meal, and the importance of friends, and he set a great example in terms of how to be generous. I think he did teach me how to tie a tie as well.
I learned everything I know from my dad. He became a single parent when I was 6 and after that dedicated his life to working to support and raise all four of us. As I got older he started telling me to “embrace the journey,” and I strive to live my life like that, so I had that saying tattooed on my leg in his handwriting as a constant reminder.
JLo, Office Manager
The best skill I learned from my father was how to use a computer and a video camera. I had my first computer when I was 5, and all I could really do was log my baseball cards and play the most basic games. He worked in IT and would bring home video cameras for me and my brother to play with. We made music videos, movies, and talk and news shows. I was lucky enough to experience the evolution of the tech boom and lucky enough to have a father who loved to show us how to use these instruments.
Johnny, Business Development
My dad taught me to play basketball, to invent fun games out of anything without needing equipment, and to play the harmonica. He also taught me about the power of humility and persistence.
My dad taught me to play tennis. It has helped me my whole life. Tennis brought me onto amazing teams and taught me to work hard in order to achieve goals. I have met my greatest mentors and my best friends through tennis. (Alex on the Growth team also learned to play tennis from his dad!)
Marcelo, Udemy for Business
My dad is the reason I love the outdoors. He taught me to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of nature and to marvel at how powerful it can be. He showed me how to set up camp, build a fire, and most importantly, leave it as I found it, if not better.
How to whittle the perfect marshmallow stick!
Not surprisingly, a bunch of us learned to drive from our dads, including Megan in HR. Robbin, Community Associate, adds: He was a difficult teacher, but I think I’m a better driver because of it. My mom is pretty terrible at driving. And Victoria, Category Manager, tells us: Before I could start driving, my dad meticulously walked me through all the vitals under the hood, including how to check the oil and transmission fluid levels, how to refill the windshield wiper fluid, and how to properly connect jumper cables. He also taught me to how change a flat tire. As you can imagine, it was very annoying at the time (I just wanted to get my minimum driving hours in so I could apply for a license!), but I’ve used these skills many times, and I feel pretty cool when I can help out a friend, even on a basic level.
Pat, VP of HR
From my dad, I learned cooking, how to drive a stick-shift car, and how to travel across the U.S. I also learned the value of traditions and life-long friendships.
Rachel, Corporate Marketing
My dad taught me how to establish and stick to a budget. He also taught me self-defense; he travels around CA competing at jiu jitsu. And I learned how to plant a garden from my father.
Safia, Udemy for Business
My dad taught me business writing and negotiating.
Shannon, Director of Marketing
I learned the importance of humor from my dad. Whether it’s at work or in life, in general, things go more smoothly and are more fun if you take the time to laugh at the absurdities that happen along the way. While it may seem “silly,” finding the humor in everyday situations requires you to be much more aware of your surroundings and the people in your life.
Spencer, Udemy for Business
From my dad I learned to respect everyone and fear no one.
Tamara, Udemy for Business
My dad taught me to strategize. When I was in elementary school, we used to play Chinese checkers every weekend while my mom went back to school. He taught me to predict my opponent’s next move by thinking ahead rather than acting on impulse. In hindsight, he also taught me to see the big picture of the game, not just to focus on the individual moves but to see how it all fits together.
Finally, we’re also running a contest on our Twitter page (@Udemy). Just tweet a skill you learned from your father or father figure using the hashtag #UdemyforDads for a chance to win $100 in course credit. But the clock is ticking — you’ve got to get your tweets out by end of day Thursday; we’ll announce winners Friday, June 19.