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Project: Teach Us a Lesson

For this project, give a lesson and get a lesson. Share a skill with a friend and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you get in return.

There’s something I’m really embarrassed about. Few would ever suspect that an organic-eating, sunshine-loving, walk-to-the-grocery-store girl like me wouldn't know how to ride a bike, but there it is. Blame it on my parents, blame it on me, but one way or another I managed to get to 26 without ever gliding down a sidewalk on two wheels. Don’t feel too badly. I have learned a few things in my time. I can pull out Virgil and read the original Latin. I can hula-hoop from all appendages. And, if I may say so, I can bake a mean cake.

Last month, I was asked to bake cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. I picked out a new recipe and fired up the oven. My friend John tagged along to eat the rejects and take a piece of the credit. He peered over my shoulder as I reached into the oven and pressed the center of a cupcake. He was confused, maybe impressed, definitely hungry. How had I touched the cake and known it was ready? John isn’t a baker and was mystified by anything beyond scrambling eggs. He asked me for a mini-cooking lesson, so while the cupcakes cooled, we discussed the basics. Weeks later we were drinking coffee overlooking a particularly congested juncture of Sunset Boulevard. "I wish I could ride a bike," I said. Oops, I let it slip. After a few laughs, John offered me a lesson.

Swapping lessons is an amazing way to pick up a new skill and share one you’ve got. Not only will you save the money you would have paid an instructor, but you'll get closer to your friends and try new things you may never have attempted on your own. Teaching someone is also a great way to renew your appreciation for the skills you have. You may even be inspired to build on them. Teach someone whatever you can, ask what they can teach you, and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you get!

Give a lesson, get a lesson! For this project, create a step-by-step illustration for your friends here at GOOD, and we may share it on the site. You'll be able to check back in and learn from the other lessons we've received.

Draw us a step-by-step illustration of one of your best skills so we can learn it, too.

Upload a .jpg file of your illustration (at least 300dpi) here. We’ll accept submissions through Wednesday, March 21. Several illustrations will be shared on, and one winner will receive a GOOD t-shirt and year's subscription to the magazine.

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