Meekness loves to learn. And it counts the blows of a friend as precious. And when it must say a critical word to a person caught in sin or error, it speaks from the deep conviction of its own fallibility and its own susceptibility to sin and its utter dependence on the grace of God. The quietness and openness and vulnerability of meekness is a very beautiful and a very painful thing. It goes against all that we are by our sinful nature. It requires supernatural help.
When people tell me to focus on one language instead of learning a whole bunch, I get a little pissed. This is my hobby and I get to decide how to enjoy it. The reason I like languages is that I can spend my whole life learning one and still have more to learn. If I’m going to be a lifelong learner of languages, why not accumulate many along the way?
Mommy!!! BUG!!!” Thea screams at me as we walk around our deck. ”Lookit mommy, bug,” she runs to me grabs my hand and pulls me near. Behold; the lifelong learner.
Children are naturally curious; if you give them a box they are not allowed to open, they will beg and beg until they finally get to peek inside. If you tape a box on the floor of your classroom, they will continue to guess at its purpose even past the big reveal. Children do not need rules to be curious, or even strategies. They are born with this ability. Now as educators we may fine-tune these skills but schools cannot take credit for their natural curiosity.
So why is it so many schools have a vision statement that includes “creating lifelong learners?” Why this need to take credit for something they have not indeed created? Do schools really think that children are not learners when they first enter the hallowed hallways and they therefore need to be fixed? What an offensive statement to parents everywhere. Yet schools and the rigidity of some classrooms can often be the reason that the lifelong learner is stymied. Schools end up breaking the child’s curiosity only to try to take credit for it being re-built.
I would like to see a school with a vision that declares they want to “maintain lifelong learners.” I would like to see a vision in which children are recognized as the insatiably curious learners they truly are. We have to change our schools to allow time for curiosity and true exploration. We are not in the business of creating robots, and yet, that is the direction our government wants to push us. Bring back the curiosity, maintain the lifelong learner, and perhaps then our system wont seem so broken.
“I’m a lifelong learner. I think it’s because I taught elementary school for 34 years. I’ve always enjoyed teaching as well as learning. I realized that if kids enjoy learning, they will continue to learn.” “What’s one thing you’ve learned recently?” “The first thing I did when I moved here a couple of years ago was go to the fabrics store. I walked in and had goose bumps—a physical reaction to this awesome place with all its beautiful fabrics. I thought, ‘Gosh, I haven’t sewed in 35 or 40 years. I would love to make something.’ They had a beginner quilting class starting in two weeks. I took it, loved it, and I’ve made 14 quilts so far. I also have a make-your-own ukulele kit. You put it together, and then you learn how to play it. That’s my next project.”
Process matters to a writer. Make yourself a “cheat sheet” to use as you continue to work on your project. What did you do to get to where you are now?
What worked—was there a particular routine, revision technique, or daily snack? What were some of your biggest challenges? If you were to pick a theme song, what would it be? Was there a particular critique partner or mentor who really “got” your work?
While the semester may be coming to a close, reflect on everything you have learned this year and remember to continue to learn throughout the summer. College is preparing you to be a lifelong learner.
Are things not going quite as planned with your writing project? Join the club! Welcome! It’s actually not that bad here. There are snacks.
It’s very easy to be hard on ourselves, to wouldashouldacoulda all of our energy away. Be kind to yourself. Life happens. Then, jot down a few quick goals for the rest of your time ahead.
Is there a chapter you really want to finish? A scene you need to outline? A character you need to develop? Make a few notes in the margins, drink some water, and get ready for that last stretch to the finish line.
Tonight, we have a featured post by LifeHackLuis. LifeHackLuis’s focus is to help you hack life to make a better you. These seemingly small changes eventually make big improvements to our lives. “From maximizing material efficiency to personal achievement, LifeHackLuis has you covered.”
This summer, I was hired as a Business Development Representative at NetCom Learning. This company is positioned as a “leading learning company” specializing in computer training and IT certification. While NetCom Learning deals specifically with technology, the company’s core value, lifelong learning, is universally applicable. You should never stop learning. Every day is an opportunity to grow.
Before my first day, I was given a lot of training materials to learn more about the company’s philosophy and operations. Included in my new employee package was a book written by CEO Russell Sarder titled Learning: Steps to Becoming a Passionate Lifelong Learner. I curiously perused the book and found a gold mine.
Russell presents a simple eight step process to becoming a passionate lifelong learner. He supports each step’s importance with quotes from illustrious people. These quotes are accompanied by biographies, giving the reader deeper contextual insight. The eight steps to become a passionate lifelong learner are:
STEP 1: Learning Value - Appreciate the value of attaining continuous knowledge.
STEP 2: Learning Commitment - Embrace being a committed lifelong learner.
STEP 3: Learning Attitude - Develop the right attitude towards continuous learning.
STEP 4: Learning Plan - Develop an effective learning plan to excel in your field.
STEP 5: Learning Method - Become an effective learner by combining a variety of learning methods.
STEP 6: Reading - Read an hour each day and grow wealthy.
STEP 7: Library - Build your own library.
STEP 8: Learning Application - Apply what you have learned.
These incredibly simple steps are easy to grasp and easy to apply. My favorites are steps 6 and 7. While I often found reading for school to be boring, now that I am out of college, I have more time to read books that I truly enjoy. Beyond reading, I can now build a library of those books to share with others.
You can grab a copy of Russell’s book on Amazon, available in print and for your Kindle reader. To conclude this post, I will leave you with one of the very first quotes featured in Russell’s book:
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Gandhi
I have never had that reaction to anyone. I’ve met so many crazy celebrities and never cried. In my eyes, she’s the best. She’s been able to use her career to create meaningful impact and affect so many women’s lives. She is a lifelong learner and that’s the way I see it too.
Karlie Kloss on crying when meeting her role model, Christy Turlington, for the first time, Porter Magazine (x)