DINK #299 Keeping Your Mind Open To Learning New “Old” Things

Posted on : 20-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Have you ever started to read an article or listen to someone when it/they appear/seem like their focus is going to be about something that “you’ve already heard or seen” or “something that you already know?”  I wonder how many times I have done that and missed an opportunity to perhaps learn something I didn’t know or at least think of something that I thought I knew in a different way.

Everyday I am challenged (as a non-traditional student!) to keep my mind open to learning something that I thought I knew but didn’t or at least creating a whole new perspective on what I already know.  Why just today in Philosophy I heard a whole lot about the basic groupings and sub groupings around philosophy (i.e. categories such as metaphysics, logics, epistomology and axiology) that I basically already know but what was fun was to hear the ideas and passions of the professors and the interjections of some of the students.  I love hearing people in the learning process.  We also learned about styles of philosophy such as analytical and continental which was interesting and, at least in my way of thinking, helped me to understand where certain kinds of thinkers are coming from.  I’m still amazed that an admin assist who I supervised years ago was eventually able to earn his Ph.D. in Philosophy and is now a lawyer.  Had I been in his shoes, I might have found the contemplation as to whether a rock was alive or not to be too seductive a process for me to move on to other more useful theological wanderings about life.

Maybe I’m just one of those “people” who enjoys learning for learning’s sake but I sure do think in our tweeting twittering social networking googling world that sometimes we’re missing out on the deliciousness of learning and comprehension by not diving deeper into the understanding of a subject, theory, idea or person.  You’d think that I, of all people, would want to dash through this education process as fast as I could with the sands of time quickly falling through the narrow opening but something wonderful overtakes me when I get into class and the learning begins and I’m actually grateful for the present moment.  It’s so nice not to have all the hormonal distractions of yore!

I believe that being willing to continue educating ourselves and learn about those things that we thought we already knew is tantamount to our being able to evolve as a species into a being who I would want to be rather than someone who I would want to avoid.  Lest you believe that learning and contemplation is best left up to the scientists and mathematicians, many great things have been created as a result of  a great idea.  Learning helps germinate an idea.

What new old thing are you willing to learn today?

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DINK #195 When Nine Little Heads Roll…..

Posted on : 01-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’ve been sharing with y’all the trials and tribulations regarding my Honors “Making Spaces” class which is about looking at the spaces that we (humans) make in regards to the architecture of public buildings.  Our professor had tasked us with a couple of projects to get us used to and to teach us how to work with small elements and therein enters my new nemesis, the Origami People.  Well, I’m remembering now as this thing plays out that one of my learning disabilities (or different abilities) is that when I get nervous and get afraid that I will not do something correctly that is when I will allow my mind to spin off and pay attention to everything around the space that I am occupying besides that thing which I need to be paying attention to at the time.  Like wondering what country my professor comes from and how he gets his hair to look so fantastic on top of his head and is he an architect by trade instead of listening to the instructions that he is giving in his beautiful melodic voice.

So somewhere during my professor’s instructions on how to make the three piece origami people  (incidentally there is an excellent youtube video on how to make them) he lost me when he began talking about making people to 1/4 of an inch scale and 1/8 of an inch scale.  He gave us written down instructions as well but all my brain seized on was the impossibility of making three 1/8 of an inch origami parts that would then make up a person.  Try as I might (and even with my husband’s help this weekend we could only make three completed origami heads. I ended up walking into the class today with nine folded squares that were 1/8 of an inch and only three of them were completely done.

What I hadn’t realized is that the instructions actually allowed for the two body parts to be on a bigger scale than the 1/8 of an inch that was required to make the small head so, in fact, what I walked in with today was nine heads, not on a platter mind you but instead were carefully nestled inside of a little plastic bag.

But no time could be spent bemoaning the fact that I had completely misunderstood the instructions because of missing class last week due to the mold situation in Austin, I am now behind 18 body parts, six completed heads and also need to create some desks and chairs for the origami people to sit in and use.  At least we were given scaled out plans for those so I don’t have to guess at the dimensions.

Today we were given another project, which involves making the walls to a house out of our “Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century” book.  To do this project, we were asked to split up into groups of three. I noticed that as we got closer to the time when we’d be figuring out who our teammates were to be, the students seem to be moving away from me at a steady rate. Can’t imagine why?!?!? Luckily, I did end up with two very sweet students and immediately went into an utter panic because I did not understand our task at all.  When I asked the professor to please look at how we divided up the building and what my part was, his response was that he wished he had known what we were going to do before we divided it up because the way we were doing it would be very complicated.  Oh joy!

This class is definitely stretching me in ways that I had not known that I could still be stretched!  I want to learn how to do this stuff but as my friend Debi M. likes to say about when she went back to school (she earned two Masters by the way) she had to first learn how she learned and then learn what she needed to learn.  What I am learning today is that giving up and running away when no other option seems available is really not an option at all.  I’m learning that although I definitely can do many things very well and learn them very quickly there are those things that I have to do over and over and over again before it sinks in and even then I may have to review what I’ve done to remember what I was to learn.  And that’s okay; it’s about knowing what I’m good at and accepting areas that I need more help in so that I can learn what I need to learn.  Isn’t that what learning is really supposed to be all about anyway?

Ahhhh. So tonight my little origami heads are safe and sound (and not rolling) in their little plastic bag waiting for me to create their bodies.  Perhaps a miracle could happen during the night and they’ll become conscious and be able to manifest the rest of themselves magically but just in case at least for today, I understand what my next steps will be.

Where do the origami heads hang out in your life?

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