About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fun Monday -- Back to School?

Fun Monday
Back to School?
August 24

Late August signals the beginning of the new school year for students of all ages. For weeks stores were packed with students and parents selecting just the right clothes and supplies to get ready for the first day of school. Schools were cleaned and refurbished. Planning meetings with teachers and administrators were held to be sure that everything is in place for the start of school. College students loaded up all their belongings and left the family home for a year of dormitory living, study, and frolicking. Then last Thursday around here the big yellow buses began making their rounds, taking students off for their first day of the 2009-10 school year.

How about you? Do you also have that "Back to School" feeling even though you're all grown up? As your host for this week's Fun Monday, and perennial student myself, I'm asking you to share your thoughts on the importance of lifelong learning:

-- Do you still think of yourself as a student? A lifelong learner? Or, did you "finish" your education when you earned your highest diploma, degree or completed a training course to prepare for a particular job?

-- What are you currently learning? Something job related to improve your work performance? Technology skills to keep up with modern styles of accessing information and communicating? Personal skills such as financial management, stress relief, family and interpersonal relationships? Expanding your borders through travel, learning another language? DIY home improvements? Hobbies and leisure activities--knitting, ballroom dancing, writing your memoirs, car maintenance, gardening, photography? You get the idea--the list of learning options is endless.

-- How do you enjoy learning? Taking a class? Online study? "How to" books or DVDs? Tutorials on computer or TV? One on one with instructor or coach? Practice on your own?

As of Sunday evening, just before I need to stop tippy tapping to watch Masterpiece Theater and Globe Trekker, here's the list of Fun Monday participants who have signed up to share what they're currently learning--or interested in learning. Be sure to check everyone out over the next few days. Also, if you want your name added to the list, just leave me a comment and I'll get you on right away. Finally, our host for August 31 is Janis over at Life According to Jan and Jer . Check back with her after Wednesday for next week's topic. Thanks Janis!

1. Janis (host August 31) -- Life According to Jan and Jer
2. ChrisB -- Ms Cellania
3. Karisma -- Karisma and Kids
4. M(the misanthrope)-- M is for Misanthrope
5. Debs (first time player--welcome!) -- Daydreams in the Shed
6. Hulagirlatheart -- Growing Older But Not Up
7. Stephanie -- Mama Drama
8. Bobbie Leigh -- Welcome to Bobbieland
9. Sayre -- Sayre Smiles
10. Jo -- Chocolate and Other Things
11. Michelle, Evan's Mom -- Mama Drama
12. IamwhoIam -- Dungarees Ablaze
13. Gattina -- Writer's Cramps
14. Mommy Wizdom -- Mommy Wizdom
15. Swampy -- Anecdotes, Antidotes, and Anodes
16. Church Lady -- Living Life in PA
17. Jill -- The Adventures of Lil Mouse
18. Gracie -- Mama Rehema
19. Mariposa -- Mariposa's Tales
20. Sandy -- Myanderings
21. Ari_1965 -- Beyond My Slab
22. Hootin' Anni -- Hootin' Anni's

A favor--if you have a problem with any of the links, please let me know in a comment. I'll try to get it cleared up. After all, no fun in laboring over a post if no one comments, right? (Postscript: I just doublechecked all the links and they work fine--blogger gremlins keep away!)__________________________________________________________

Now here are two quick examples of what I'm learning right now. I think it's good to be involved in a variety of learning, feeding the mind, body and spirit. Hopefully, I'll always be excited at the thoughts of learning something new.

Geek Squad: I am so lucky to have a very good friend who is my guru for all things technological. Although she's not quite as cute as this little Geek Squad, J has other talents that put her at the top of the list. Before I retired she helped me purchase a home computer with enough bells and whistles to keep me happy for several years. J understands the secret language of computerese--she speaks html fluently. She also understands how I learn best. She is very creative and an excellent digital scrapbooker. My very tasteful header is her creation. It pleases me a great deal. Although J does not blog, she loves learning about web design and helps me improve the appearance and publication of my blog. There's only one area that she's failed me miserably, that's installing a "Smiles of Harry" screen saver so I can obsess daily over the lovely British actor Richard Armitage. . .

Here's how we work: I keep a running list of technology questions and when there's enough J will make a Geek Squad house call after work. She shows me how to sort things out in layman's language and leaves me with these crib sheets that I can follow for a variety of tasks from scanning photos to defraging my whatever that needs defraging. In return I allow her to pet Willie the pit bull (she has two Cujos and a victim in her dog family) and send her home with a delicious sack dinner. Perfect!

Pilates: every week I meet another friend, S, at the Core Pilates Studio for a duo pilates session. We've been working out with a young thirty-something instructor who combines her knowledge of pilates and nursing to ensure that we don't hurt ourselves for almost three years now. We're not very good at the practices, but we show up and try. Mentally pilates keeps me connected with two good friends and helps ease some of the stresses of everyday life.

Physically, pilates slows down the effects of aging by building core strength and stability, balance and coordination. With consistent
pilates exercises, I feel taller, and have more muscle strength and flexibility. We alternate between sessions on the various pieces of equipment and mat work using the different size and weight balls and resistance bands. We get so much out of these classes that neither of us would willingly stop, even if it became necessary financially to cut back. Pilates would be the last to go.

Now I'm also working on my own to improve my blog. More about that in an upcoming post. And , like you I'm sure, there are many unfinished projects that could be finished--like a beautiful log cabin quilt or creating a digital photo album of my travels--whenever I take the time to learn that next step.

Thanks everyone for playing this week and I'll be around to visit all of you to see what I can learn from you.


MommyW said...

Beautiful! I love the crib sheets and the defrag whatever needs defraging. Ha! This arrangement is perfect! And the Geek Squad kiddy car - I want one!!

Pilates sounds amazing; I will add that to my list of things to try.

Thanks for a great topic! Cheers.


Gattina said...

Instead of Pilate I have Yoga classes, not the spiritual with meditations and all that stuff, but only gymnastic and I am getting the same results ! Flexibility and no back ache anymore !

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I love your post and all the things you do. So busy.

There are so many things I'd like to be doing, but time seems so short, so I tend to focus on my writing, which, of course, I love doing.

m (the misanthrope) said...

Wonderful post! J sounds terrific. And I am with you on the Pilates thing. I do a Pilates DVD at home, and after being a regular worker-outer since 1998, I have seen more improvement in my core strength, balance and tone in 1 year of Pilates than I did in the first 9 at the gym. (I also do cardio at home.)

Hooray for lifelong learning and lifelong wellness! Thanks for the great topic!

Sayre said...

I love that you are continuing with your PHYSICAL education as well as your mental one. I have recently realized how important it is to keep your body funtioning well - as my FIL and MIL deteriorate before my eyes with osteoporosis, arthritis and muscular atrophy, and my own parents grow more and more unsteady on their feet, I have been looking for new ways to educate my body to stay healthy and strong. It's every bit as important as keeping your brain in good shape.

Pamela said...

Pilates would be good for me.

I'd planned to post -- BUT... my post got delayed. I was supposed to know before today if I was going to get "hired" to tutor part time at the local school district.

I'm going in today and will know if I am going to be hired.

Other learning? -- I learned PINNACLE this year so that I could edit videos etc at home. Then my husband decided to switch to Premier Pro -- WR says is 'better' -- so now I have to learn it. I'm tired of learning. ha ha.

Hootin Anni said...

Good Morning Faye!! I enjoyed your post today. And I want to thank you for hosting F M also.

In your comment, you asked where you could see some of my art...I haven't posted much of it on my blog, but I have SOME....Here Here Here ....and a few of my pencil sketches, HERE. You may need to scroll down a bit on some of the posts. Hope you enjoy them.

Jan n Jer said...

You are lucky to have a "computer Geek" as a friend. Keeping up with todays technology is a daily learning experience. Good for you on the Pilates class, so many dont get the excerise for life concept. Very important in delaying the aging process. Being able do for myself is my motivation for working out, not to mention it makes me feel good. I also have some new ideas for my blog design..coming soon in early fall. Thanks for sharing n Hosting Faye...come on over on wed and sign up for the next FM :)

ChrisB said...

I did try Pilates many years ago but never quite got the technique right. I should have gone to a proper class rather than trying it at home from a video.

Wish I had a friend who could answer all my computer queries. I was hoping that my daughter would sort a few things for me when she visited but we didn't really want to waste time sitting at the computer. So it's back to self learning for me!

Swampwitch said...

Thanks for hosting today ! Loved the topic. Motivated me to try and be a learner this week !

Geek Squad pic is too cute...

gracie said...

I want that Pilates instructor. Funny, today I just received mail from the Geek Squad, they want me to pay a subscription of 229 for them to be on call etc. I want the Geek car too. Great topic, thanks for hosting

Living Life said...

I am a little like you, Faye in the technological dept. I am not that tech. savvy. It is nice that you have a close friend who will show you hands on all the computer tips you need to know!

You know, I have never tried pilates. I am a routine treadmill walker/runner. Maybe one day, I will try pilates. It sounds like it is great for your mental well being!

I would love to see your quilt. I use my quilt as a throw on my sofa. I can barely sew on a button, so I think I need to take some sewing classes first!

Thanks for hosting FM - great topic!

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