new directions. . .

by mulberryshoots

September is a good time for a fresh start. For many of us, the beginning of the school every year and the cooler, dry air signals a time that we remember well with excitement, optimism, fresh notebooks and pens. What we learned when we were young has gotten us this far. Now, I’m thinking it might be time to go deeper, to listen and learn from others and to find the kind of learning that works for me personally.

Because we all learn differently, it can take quite awhile to find the right fit. I’ve signed up for so many classes (tai-chi, ink-painting) that I tire of after a few classes and the resistance to get into the car to go somewhere is stronger than my desire to get my money’s worth. Voila! after exploring a few more “outside” classes that were vaguely attractive today, I’ve come upon something that works with my resistance-style: online classes with podcasts, class chat follow-up and short assignments with seasoned writers. I can attend class in the comfort of my own chair, have water or tea by my side; go to the bathroom if I need to. Schedule where I want to be to attend the class–here or at our other place on the North Shore. After listening to a sample podcast that lasted an hour and a half, I was very impressed by the quality of the observations and the dialogue. Very smart of these folks to provide such a long sampling for prospective listeners so that we can decide whether to sign-up or not.

I’m stubborn about learning. Or to put it another way, I’m picky about the way that I learn. I don’t like to just be “told” things. Like most people, I think I like to be “shown” so that I can integrate it in my own way. I also squirm when teachers dumb down a topic which to me, represents a lack of respect for the topic as well as for the students. Maybe they think it’s a way to make people feel comfortable–not to take things so seriously. But in this day and age with money being so spare, why do anything at all if you don’t take it seriously?

So my new direction is to go deeper, to take more time to understand and to increase understanding so that what has already been meaningful to me, will now take on greater meaning. I think it takes a certain degree of giving-up to sign-up for this. Because one admits one’s limitations. And that’s probably a good thing too.