Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"The day you stop learning is the day you begin decaying."
~ Isaac Asimov
This month marks two milestones for me.  First a life milestone - my oldest child goes off to college.  I think back to the days when I was in his shoes, embarking on a new adventure and the next stage of life where your only job is to absorb and learn.  There were freedoms like I had never known, and I made a lot of mistakes in those days.  But I was young and learned from them and bounced back.   Everyone who went on to get a degree after high school remembers how hard it was but also how full of life those days were.  

I heard someone say the other day that they wished they could go back to college with what they knew today.  But I think not, because the newness of it all, groping your way though situations and finally coming out the other side, was what made it memorable.  Going back now wold be like getting another job - some newness but most of the same.  

So whle I envy my son and the new world of learning he is facing, once is enough.

The second milestone this month was our annual Learning Group meeting.  People from every part of the globe got together for a few days of sharing experiences and designing new things to try in our classrooms.  This year was particularly productive.  I learned as much as I shared, maybe more.  What I found particularly fascinating was the perspectives from people in other parts of the world with other cultures and how they see Learning.  
I learned so much by simply listening, and those shared experiences will shape what we do globally.

But what really struck me this week was the intersection of the two.  I realized that, while I might be nostalgic for those university days, I have been a learner all my life.  And what Mr. Asimov said is true - those parts of my life when I put learning on hold were unremarkable and feel wasted.  And so I consider myself fortunate, because not only do I get to actively learn for a living but my job is to help others to just that.

My son might be starting a new adventure, but mine isn't exactly over yet.

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