Lifelong Learning

This is Day 12 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge that bloggers the world over participate in each April. It is a busy time in bloggers’ calendars as we write posts, visit other sites and stop to comment and encourage one another. It is the one month in the year I happily commit to posting 6/7 days a week.

Best case scenario is you’re uber prepared and have posts scheduled well in advance so you can spend the month visiting other bloggers. Worst case scenario is you blog on the fly. There’s little time for writing the post and then letting it sit a while before editing. It is one way of doing it but not my preference. C’est la vie and today’s entry has to do with my love of learning so I’ll chat about that … on the fly.

I feel an explanation is in order because I’ve departed from the theme of my posts for this challenge. Before COVID-19 we were travelling, moving frequently and visiting interesting places regularly. Now that we’re staying put until we’re told we can move, the posts have more a stream of conscious flow. And now on with today’s musings.

From the time we leave school until our dotage we are all lifelong learners. We graduate from high school with a limited skill set and go on to learn the useful skills of navigating life. We emerge from childhood knowing how to cross roads,,, tie our shoe laces, make our beds (maybe), and able to cook ourselves a basic meal.

Maths in high school involved mental arithmetic, logarithms, algorithms and trigonometry and all before calculators. As clever as that may have been I have limited knowledge of any of those concepts we spent hours having drummed into us. School gave me a love of language and history and yes I can string a sentence together and know that adverbs and adjectives are best left out. I didn’t learn how to cook, iron a shirt or sew with a machine, all skills I learnt as an adult.

When computers were large mainframes housed in specially cooled rooms in the office basement I taught myself how to programme them using a language called Fortran CSP. Again I remember little of that language but it served me well for the years I programmed computers for a newspaper in Cape Town, South Africa.

We owned one of the first personal computers and taught ourselves to use it.

Now there are smartphones, tablets, GPS devices and we take learning these devices in our stride. I find there are benefits to learning new skills.

  • It renews my motivation to master something fresh
  • I enjoy improving my skills and knowledge
  • There is a boost to my self-confidence

I think it is important to keep oneself open to learning as it recognises that we have a natural drive to explore; we are curious beings. It improves our quality of life and self-worth as we pay attention to fresh ideas that inspire us.

So what is lifelong learning? As mentioned above it is everything we absorb into our knowledge bank that helps us to move through life in the best possible way. It is a voluntary process that takes place outside formal learning institutions and focusses on personal development and growth.

It is the β€œongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

For me, it means everything from my first calligraphy course, to card-making, genealogy, learning how to write my personal history and more recently taking a number of on-line courses.

When shutdowns and periods of isolated were first mooted in the early days of COVID-19 I enrolled in a number of on-line courses. We weren’t sure what isolation would look like and I didn’t want to be at home with nothing to keep me busy. I do have a number of hands-on craft projects on the go: knitting, crochet and diamond art.

Now that we are on the road full time I’ve picked up my search for ancestors that has lead me to wonder at our possible Celtic ties. To that end one of the on-line courses is an introduction to Celts and the other an introductory diploma about the Vikings. I’m immersed in the Celts at the moment and love researching materials aside of those provided.

11 thoughts on “Lifelong Learning

  1. I’m impressed by your genealogical research. I’ve always meant to do that. Unfortunately at the moment, I’m encountering some serious ennui. I hope it’s temporary, but I’m finding I can’t even read more than two or three pages of a book without putting it down. But maybe you’ll indirectly inspire me here, Linda. πŸ™‚ – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is time consuming and like any internet research can lead one down many interesting, and time-wasting, avenues. However, the rewards when they come are motivating. It was easier when I started a decade or so ago. Now there are so many sites offering different types of information. Back then most of the information was free. Ah me! The good old days (maybe). I wonder if the current situation is affecting your mood Marty? I know it has ours as we navigate these times of uncertainty. Linda πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I started trying to learn Spanish, umm… I gave up. I did learn how to make a Kaleidoscope. I am one of the folks winging it this year though. I have managed to make it to number 234 on the master list of those participating though (that’s you). Looking forward to the rest of April, be safe and well!


    • I’m impressed, Rainee. Does it have assignments? I’ve never been good at creative writing under scrutiny. I always feel like any criticism would be like someone smacking my baby! Not sure why I feel differently with blogging though. Keep well and I’m looking forward to hearing how you go and what you get out of your course. Linda x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Linda. There are assignments where we get feedback. However the course has shown me that I am much more interested in blogging than the idea of writing a novel. The lessons (podcasts) and handouts provide valuable info if I ever decide to write more seriously. I just want to write for the pleasure of it. I found myself wanting to add photos to the assignments as I do in my blog! A learning experience whichever way I look at it 😊🌻

        Liked by 1 person

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