I don’t know about you, but I’ve always liked learning, going to school, and education in general. Well, let me qualify the school part. I’ve always liked going to school … except for 7th and 8th grades. You know, puberty and adolescence. Remember those delightful years? I send a “thank you” skyward to two special teachers from that time, Mr. Tierney and Mrs. Polster, who placed their confidence in me and drew me out.
In 9th and 10th grades the horizon became brighter. I played oboe in the orchestra – still don’t know how that happened – and made friends among the musicians. I confess, I hated my Latin teacher. But a big change happened when my family moved the summer before my junior year. I was so-o-o-o unhappy to switch schools at such a critical time. But it proved a good thing. I joined a sorority, played on the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams (great excitement – the team traveled to different schools for tournaments), and loved my French teacher who came directly from Paris, Miss Grimahl. To this mix, add crushes on a few boys, academics, and trying to figure out life.
A love of learning was helped along by my parents who valued education, and were lifelong learners and “taker-oners of challenges.” My dad, an avid reader, wrote to the newspapers and local, state, and federal governments on current issues, and took correspondence courses (this was before online courses.) My mom loved the challenge of a remodel, solving problems, and making things better, whether on a house or a dress she was creating.
I recall working full time and attending graduate seminars in the late afternoon, early evening, fighting sleep as soon as I my derriere hit the chair in the small classroom. Not a good thing when you’re at a conference table with only 12 others. But when Professor Dean Hess started the discussion, his energy and words filled the room. I woke up.
The whole school/learning thing excites my knowledge bug still. How about you? The new year finds a few classes on my schedule: a one day workshop called “The Art of the Short Story,” taught by Duff Brenna, Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at California State University San Marcos. http://palmspringswritersguild.org/event-1731838
Another is a six-week online course called “Ignite Your Everyday Creativity.” The class is a partnership between the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Buffalo (my undergraduate school) and Coursera, creator of massive online courses. And it’s free. Course theme is “b Creative.” Emphasis is on creative problem solving, not creative expression per se like painting or poetry. http://newsandevents.buffalostate.edu/news/new-online-creativity-course-launches-february-16
And then there’s a morning Poetry Workshop called “Reversing Spells, Secrets Spilled, and The Line’s Surprise.” Interesting title. The course is conducted by Julie Paegle, CSU San Bernardino Professor of English. http://palmspringswritersguild.org/event-1780378
I’m becoming curious as to what new experiences will befall me. Any courses or learning adventures coming your way in the new year?
PS – And like a kid starting school, I’ve bought a brand new (and thick) spiral binder, red.