In choosing an independent learning project I had a couple of ideas. First, I thought of gluten-free cooking. I want to make healthier meals that taste yummy. I really just wanted something that would force me to make dessert every other night.
I also thought of learning to play the guitar. I began to learn in high school, but gave it up quickly. Music is not something I am passionate about. That defeats the purpose of having a learning project that I enjoy and look forward to. (And my husband said my fingers would be sore. I’m a wimp.)
I did not think of reading for my project until Prof. Ellington replied to a twitter post I made. It was about being passionate about reading things that challenge me or make me happy. She suggested I should make this my independent learning project.
Photo CC- by Stefano Corso
Of course I should spend this time learning what I want!
I will read books.
During my time in college I have tried to keep up on this type of reading, but honestly I have turned to books that allow me to unplug my brain for a little while during my lunch break. There is nothing wrong with that kind of reading. I just want something more.
I want to read books that challenge what I think of the world. I want to read books that makes me question if I am believing and doing the right things. I want to read books that have me question if I am becoming the person that I want to be.
This weekend I attended a conference put on by an author whose books have stretched me and caused me to grow. I have been looking forward to this time for a while. I just had no idea that this would be the perfect start to an independent learning project.
Don’t you love it when that happens? When everything is arranged beforehand and just falls into place, like it was meant to be?
Shelly Volkhardt has written three books, one about what she calls “Kitchen Table Counselling.” The premise is teaching women how to help and support other women through difficult times. I used to work at a crisis pregnancy center as a lay counselor, and later I worked with women that were battling addictions and had been released from prison. Shelly’s book was so valuable to me during those times. I had not experienced those specific issues, but still wanted to walk alongside women who were in the midst of them.
I used the principles in the book to help me know how to best serve those women during times of pain and crisis. I never had all the answers, but I learned how to listen and love people.
I was able to attend the conference this weekend, and be reminded of who I am.
I am working with people in a different way now that I will be going into the education field. But the same principles of helping others apply to working with others in the workplace and in the classroom. It was a good reminder that I don’t lose who I am as a person just because I am learning a different set of skills.
I am looking forward to reading again, and I love that reading goes really well with coffee or dessert – I really do like dessert.
Photo CC- By OpenEye