What are you learning? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 86 Old 02-11-2016, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are you learning?

You, mom, what are you learning, doing, exploring, researching, obsessing over, leaning towards, growing into, thinking about committing to? How much structure are you wanting as you do so? Is your child / are your children interested?

Miranda

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#2 of 86 Old 02-11-2016, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Answering my own question...

1. Violin was on the back burner for a couple of years but now it's back to simmering on the side. I'm back to playing pretty much all the available symphony gigs in the area. I dived back in last summer because there was a great outdoor gig I was invited to do with my eldest, and then continued through the fall because Fiona was invited to be a student player and I wanted to support her in getting that experience. But the last two gigs she's been busy and I've taken the work anyway. Feels kind of nice to be back to playing orchestra semi-regularly.

2. Running. Taking it more seriously for a while. Training for a marathon at the beginning of May, followed by a half four weeks later. I did the same marathon, my first, 4 years ago, made a few rookie mistakes and ended up with a slow finishing time (4:22). Aiming for under 4 hours this time despite being well over 50 now. Not sure it's possible for me, but I'm going to try. The Half will be just for fun, with friends, fairly local.

3. Web development. I taught myself HTML back in 1996 and have stayed current enough to manage basic web administration tasks that use content management systems. But I find I'm constantly bumping up against the limits of my knowledge. I've been relying on Wordpress and cPanel, and feel like I want understand what's going on in the background better, and be able to write my own backend code. So I signed up for a WebDev Bootcamp course via Udemy. Looks like a monster course, but exactly what I need/want.

Miranda
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#3 of 86 Old 02-12-2016, 09:08 AM
 
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1) Local history. In the course of writing my latest book about our adventure around Cook Inlet, I've found myself diving for all kinds of historical scraps. Explorers journals, 1895 newspaper articles about the gold rush, Native history, etc... Since history and english were the two subjects I avoided like the plague in school, I find this project to be an amusing full circle.

2) Aikido. Trained in aikido for over 20! years off and on, but mostly off since I moved to Alaska. Reinspired by my last visit to my old dojo, I now have a personal dojo, as well as a weekly class in the school gym to teach. My kids have been fairly interested so far. Enough to eventually learn something, I think. For myself, my goal is to visit my old dojo next year and be ready to test for shodan (black belt).

3) Magazine/essay writing. As my book project winds down, I want to focus some energy on trying to get shorter things published. Committing (to myself) to writing for the newspaper every month instead of every 3-4 months (they pay well, even), and starting to submit to national magazines.

4) Book promotion. More a "committing to" than a "wanting to" thing, but when that kids' book comes out, I have to. I'm hoping to turn it into something bigger and more fun by planning workshop-style events on getting kids outside, but that'll be new for me.
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#4 of 86 Old 02-12-2016, 11:03 AM
 
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As far as focused learning, I've been catching up on my Spanish and German via Duolingo, which is very well designed and fun. I have no reason for wanting to continue, just that I didn't want to let something I have loved atrophy further, and I might be able to put my Spanish to good use eventually.

I've been reading a lot (though not so much in the last two weeks) and writing privately. My own diffused studies have been softly focused on consciousness, from a scientific viewpoint (The Man Who Wasn't There-- a great read on disorders of Self which is particularly intriguing), from a mythological viewpoint like the classic Jungian work The Great Mother by Erich Neumann, politically and sociologically (Sacred Pleasure, and Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler), as well as classic 20th century works (Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, The Book by Alan Watts). I've dabbled in Western philosophy, but I'm unsure where I really want to start.

The trails have led me to armchair explorations of Shamanism most recently, and it's an odd notion in my head that once at Evergreen I'd like one quarter's study to be visiting modern shamans in a northern community, either Canada, Alaska, or (exotic!) Siberia, etc. I'm even thinking about weaving in some mycology classes.

Not all this is superfluous (though, no judgment about that!) as it's my intention to take my interest in all this somewhere. Possibly academic, possibly clinical. This is going to be what I'll be searching for in school-- the right niche, the right calling. I already know I'd like to work (intern) with young, homeless women and girls, study disorders of self, and work (intern) in the growing field of psychedelics as a therapeutic tool.

I've been learning more specifically about cultural needs for vegetable gardens. I'm a gardener and have been for decades, but the neediness of crops annoys and confounds me and I think it's time to be a bit more forgiving of these plants and find out just what they need from me and when. A hoe is on my next-to-buy list. I'm hoping I have more energy for the garden this year, as last year my energy tanked.

Today or tomorrow I need to take an hour training on creating a paper trail for my GS cookie mom job. There is rarely an area that I am so untalented at than bookkeeping-type stuff. It's not that I dislike it. I actually don't mind it, but hours in I discover how fabulously I screwed up. Every. Time. I can learn it, I know, but I am so uncoordinated at it. So today (tomorrow) I march onward and see if I can learn some tricks to keep all this stuff to stay put in my head.

I would *love* to get back into Aikido! Unfortunately, it's so far down on my list of can-do-next that I'm afraid it will be a long, long while.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#5 of 86 Old 02-12-2016, 11:16 AM
 
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I almost forgot! Our ski lessons got rescheduled to next week. I really like the idea of the girls and I doing more of this together, but the cost might be prohibitive for doing too much.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#6 of 86 Old 02-12-2016, 02:15 PM
 
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I'm diving into the Kamana Naturalist Training Program this week. I'm excited to do something new and totally for myself "just because." I don't know how far it will lead but it is challenging me and I'm having fun. My kiddos aren't into it at all at this point but I've been sharing my excitement at doing it as well as describing the daily exercises to them. If I continue on with it beyond the first level I could see it involving them as it is focuses on nature mentoring. And by default as the people I spend my days with my kiddos would be the first in line! ;-)
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#7 of 86 Old 02-14-2016, 10:30 PM
 
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I have just started learning violin and I rented one this week. It feels totally crazy with 3 children under 3 years, but heck, I want to do something for myself too.
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#8 of 86 Old 02-15-2016, 05:07 PM
 
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I forgot. Spanish! I never took Spanish at all in school, so just about everyone knows more than I do, but you have to start somewhere. Been working through the tree on Duolingo, hoping to have a small amount of basic familiarity with the language before going to South America in a year and a half or so.
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#9 of 86 Old 02-15-2016, 05:52 PM
 
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I almost forgot, because is it "learning" or a "subject"? Why not... I'm continuing my exploration of the sci fi classics. Slowly, slowly. I have on my stack Neuromancer, and (I can't believe I never read this) Hitchhiker's Guide.

I love Spanish. It's such a poetic language. It's easy to pick up, not as easy to master, and of course because it it so widespread (more than any other first language in the world) so many dialects as to border on separate languages. It's almost like a guitar, if it were an instrument. Simple enough to get a beautiful sound, and enough competency to accompany your singing, but deceptively complex.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#10 of 86 Old 02-16-2016, 12:46 PM
 
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My thing this spring is adding part time sources of income while I build my violin studio. I did not get three jobs I was overqualified for and decided to not go the full time at minimum wage scene (no matter how virtuous some politicians seem to think it is), so started scrambling for the $15/hour part time market instead. The one minimum wage job (plus tips) I might do part time is dipping ice cream for a seasonal business...the ice cream part is located in a retired caboose. Or not...someone recommended me for a music store that needs someone to help with expanded hours during a festival, and maybe more later on. I've always gone about my music business in a very piecemeal and unprofessional way...I teach at houses, schools, and churches in a nearby town, but have finally got to a sort of critical mass where it looks like there might be enough people to do some fun stuff...jams, chamber music/orchestra, so maybe time to put some time into that.

Deborah
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#11 of 86 Old 02-16-2016, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would almost pay for time in a retired caboose!

Miranda
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#12 of 86 Old 02-20-2016, 06:39 PM
 
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I have been absent as of late because I have been working hard at learning all I can to expand my business. I'm currently studying marketing- building my online biz. I applied for a scholarship for an 8week course, but wasn't successful. So I'm doing it the long way and redirecting. Mostly I know what I need to know I just have to buckle down and get to work.
Also we've done some skiing this winter which both Little and I are thoroughly enjoying.

Anna, mom to 4 great kids, homeschooling in Toronto.
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#13 of 86 Old 02-23-2016, 12:09 PM
 
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RE: the caboose: yes, but I have been busy making twice as much! But the other person with one of those jobs may be coming back, so maybe I will have an opening! I just spent a few minutes contacting my violin students for this week (it's a sort of puzzle I get to put together every week!), and trying to extract a rather nice 1/2 size I lent one. Sometimes one just doesn't respond and I just wait (unschooler style) and sometimes the student comes back but more often doesn't, but this time I should have been more proactive about getting the violin back! Oog...
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#14 of 86 Old 02-29-2016, 06:01 AM
 
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[QUOTE=transpecos;19287234]RE: the caboose: QUOTE]

Those old cabooses are really cool. We used to our pup to a groomer who converted one. There is a group of 4 or 5 together and there are different businesses in each. They are on a city block in a historical area, pretty cool.
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#15 of 86 Old 03-04-2016, 05:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
You, mom, what are you learning, doing, exploring, researching, obsessing over, leaning towards, growing into, thinking about committing to? How much structure are you wanting as you do so? Is your child / are your children interested?

Miranda

Great thread!

Learning: Patience.

Doing: Getting my Mom back in her rhythm from caregiving for the last 5 years for my Dad. Moving her to us, 43 days and counting!
Preparing for Hospice Training in April.
Organizing a weekly get together for local children to work on helping others in the community ie; food drive, elder yard clean up, etc. I called it the Moon Valley Merrymakers Recruiting!
Creating an event for Autoimmune Awareness in the PNW, think tank.
Planting seeds for a future PAID part time position. I love bartering but Mama needs some capital.
Shooting firearms competitively again. See where MY aim is, also get some of my groove back. I enjoyed the safety aspects, training, caring for and really the art of shooting fire arms

Exploring: Cougars.
Trees.
My Self

Researching/Obsessing (somewhat): Autoimmune, specifically the MTHFR Gene and folates role.

Leaning towards/growing into/thinking of committing to: Finding that I am having to put "shoes" on nowadays that propel me into my families Alpha role. I don't mind. Feels good. Mom says it's been that way since I was born.

How much structure as I do so: Finding this path is somewhat guided, it seems. Not putting too much effort in to structure, weirdly for me. Going with the flow seems so much lighter and really, easier. Duh or rather, Ah- ha moments happening all over these parts.

Is my child interested: You bet. Cruising right along with us, or we are with him His emotional growth has been a gift to witness.

Grace is finding me, thankfully. I was a hard one for a very long time. Empathic, but hard. Raised that way really. Independent. I feel that comes from being an only child by birth, I was married into many siblings over the years. My Son is an only child as well. I hope he sees strength and growth in all this.


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#16 of 86 Old 03-06-2016, 02:58 PM
 
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Our lives are no where near as interesting as others in here!

I'm focusing on "de momming" this year. Obviously my children are still a central focus to my life. But it had started to become an unhealthy balance, where all my energy was focused toward the "work" of homemaking-clesning, cooking, busgetting etc. I was burnt out, exhausted, and had lost myself .

I've started reading again. I'm currently reading The Sandmans latest. Ice been really into fantasy and fairy takes redone for young adults/adults. But really whatever strikes my fancy.

I've found time to be creative again. Right now that's mostly focused on diy projects at home. That seems to be pretty typical for spring. Also, we bought our home a year ago in February so we still have lots I plans and ideas. I'm working on a wine bottle garden edging, some other simple landscaping, and a paper bag wallpaper technique.

I've also fallen in love with coloring. Once the diy projects calm In hoping ti learn finger knitting and some new fingerpaibting techniques. I love finding crafr a I can enjoybl that the kids can also take part in.
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#17 of 86 Old 03-14-2016, 02:21 PM
 
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Learning to draw people. All this art training, and I've never been good at drawing people, animals, or anything that moves. Somehow I just wasn't interested in it... until now. Possibly, it's that with two young kids to take care of, I no longer have time for the more elaborate art I'd been making for years (jewelry and fibre art), and don't have the studio available to make art involving lots of tiny objects. So these days I'm restricted to sketchbooks, pens, pencils, watercolours, and whatever else will fit on the kitchen counter or under my arm when we go out.
Now that the weather is getting milder, I can take my sketchbook out and draw randomly as the children play, and I'm teaching myself to just draw them as they move and splash around in the mud. Not accomplishing anything spectacular artistically, yet, but I'm getting a little better at just making quick gesture drawings, economizing my use of line rather than labouring over details and "getting it right". The secret to getting good at it is just to do a lot of it. I bought the cheapest sketchbook I could find, so I won't fret over wasting paper (expensive materials can become a psychological barrier) and may move from pencil to pen so my sketches won't look so timid and faint. Why use a pencil if you have no time to erase?
I find I'm far less self-conscious when drawing my children than I was when attempting to draw anyone else. I know they won't criticize me or grow suspicious if they see me looking repeatedly at them and at my sketchbook. Maybe one day I'll grow brave enough to draw people in public places, and stop worrying about what they think.
Of course, my kids get really interested in what I'm doing, and want to draw and paint too. I handed my sketchbook over to DS the other day, and he sat down on a stump and drew a self-portrait... the cutest picture I ever saw him draw! He's 5 and a half, and has all of a sudden gone from drawing nothing but scribbles to clear pictures of people, vehicles, houses, and whatever else comes to mind. 2-yo DD wants to help me or imitate whatever I'm doing, so yesterday she took my sketchbook and pencil and started to "draw" in it just as she saw me doing. I started to draw this way just to squeeze some "me time" into my day even when I can't be by myself, but I think it's becoming part of their education too.
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#18 of 86 Old 03-14-2016, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is very inspiring, h4th! The fact that your learning is so obvious, so visible, will probably be really helpful to your children as a model of persistence and mistake-making along the way. And the lesson that the secret to getting better is in doing a lot of it... yup! Good stuff!

I had a successful baby-step lesson in patience and flexibility last week. I came back from a run last weekend with a pulled muscle in my calf. I could jog through it, but it was obviously sore and got worse as the next 24 hours passed. I did the sensible thing: I switched to riding my bike trainer for three days, because that didn't bother it at all. Then I tried a short slow run but I could still feel the injury. This would be the point at which I'd normally get frustrated and just start trying to run through the injury, hoping it would gradually improve if I didn't run quite so hard or quite so long. Instead I took three days completely off, did all the self-massage, ice, range of motion exercises.

It was really hard departing from my training program and breaking my long consistent streak of daily workouts. I have all these social challenges on the go too, which the break may have cost me. My bar graphs are not going to look as pretty for March as they did for the preceding months. But I held off for three more days and then tried a short easy jog again ... and it was fine!

(Pretty sure I would have failed this learning lesson if the second three-day break hadn't worked, but thankfully my body handed me a challenge in my Zone of Proximal Development. )

Miranda
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#19 of 86 Old 03-14-2016, 09:20 PM
 
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In an odd twist of fate, I have been offered my youngest kid's FIRST real job, weekend pet attendant at the vet's. It comes with the possibilities of other small jobs as well (some of which Youngest might want to do, if she has the time)...this works out for me because it makes over 2x minimum wage and is a minimal time commitment (just a few hours per weekend), but a steady source of income, which my violin lessons are NOT. Because I really don't want to make those more formal but I do want to expand my studio and do the free mob scene violin lesson weekly/monthly/whatever in my town, my two small part time jobs will give enough stability to get a little farther away from the financial precipice that medical expenses, college, plane tickets, a house in Maine that doesn't pay for itself, etc. have put us next to. So, I will likely not be pursuing the ice cream dipping job at the Caboose. The job does tie up weekends and holidays, but there are people to call on in case of schedule conflicts, and husband has hundreds of hours of vacation so if we wanted to go camping, we could easily go during the week. (He and I go to the job site on at least one day of most weekends anyway.) I will not be sad to drop that source of anxiety. The paperwork sits unfilled out on the kitchen table.

Deborah

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#20 of 86 Old 03-15-2016, 05:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by head4thehills View Post
Learning to draw people.
Crazy, right? My husband and son started out drawing from books at the library.

We were introduced to Art4kids on you tube. I swear anyone can draw what they show. I could. And it looked good! Fun family drawing together. The Dad is fun, surfer dude. They draw anything from Night before Christmas to Frozen, etc.
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#21 of 86 Old 03-15-2016, 05:08 PM
 
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head4thehills -- that sketching sounds awesome!
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#22 of 86 Old 03-16-2016, 12:22 PM
 
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One thing that I had planned on adding to my last post on this thread but don't think I did, was that my part of the end of unschooling at home, is some financial support for those that are away from home! As I have mentioned, Yana (the youngest) requires the least financial support at this time, but I expect that (as a part of our commitment to educate and launch our kids, not so easy as it was when husband and I were starting out), she will likely need some financial support as well. As a mom, I worked half time until my eldest was almost six (my husband worked the other half time), when we moved, and then after a few years I started making some money as a musician, then violin teacher. Then we moved again, and eventually I got up to the level I had been before, a few thousand a year. But with the stagnant salaries in my husband's profession, and the kids out of the nest, I will be the person that makes it possible for us to be able to support that next phase (kids higher ed, etc) while not going absolutely broke. (It would be nice to replace the car, but at this point, it will likely be a Honda even older than our Toyota, but with fewer miles!) So, tomorrow it's to work I go!

Deborah
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#23 of 86 Old 03-23-2016, 10:19 AM
 
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I am learning...that I will never be able to keep track of my wallet.

Maybe I should join the Old Lady Contingent, who totter under the weight of suitcase-sized bags with the generic name "my purse".

Today I have to have my driver license, to prove that I'm a citizen to my employer, for my new job as Weekend Pet Attendant!

So, of course my wallet was missing. (My husband couldn't find his motorcycle key this morning. He says we're a "matched set".)

So, after tearing apart the house and the car and the three bags I took to work yesterday (I always go over prepared everywhere (maybe I really do need one of those bags): I had a backpack with stuff like checkbooks, change, assorted papers (many with just one name/phone number, on odd sizes/shapes/colors/ages of paper), ballpoint pens without caps, a flashlight, two t shirts, a Hershey's kiss whose aluminum foil wrapper suggests that it's been melted more than once, that sorta thing...a computer bag with my current work notebook & papers, a pen cap that matches a pen in my backpack (do I put it where it belongs? No, I do not.), a couple of quarters...a bag with a 3-ring binder for work that holds information that might be useful for my current work project, but which does not fit in the computer briefcase, a pocket brain that really should be in the backpack (now it is) plus the following books: Out of the Labyrinth (another of those words that I can never spell), Discovery at Rosetta, Mathematics in 20th-Century Literature & Art, and a copy of Storm of Swords that was apparently chewed by some of Yana's rescue animals. The pad of accounting paper I use to keep track of deposits (violin lessons and the like) is there too, better return it to its proper place so I don't have to note the next set of deposits on the back of an envelope, which I then forget somewhere and then have no clue come tax time.

And, to continue on what I'm not learning, yesterday I decided I really had better learn to play the viola from the wrong direction for Friday week's concert, so I put a towel on the kitchen island and balanced the viola on it, scroll facing me, while I perched on a chair and tried to get the music stand where I could see it...no dice...my progressive lenses (that I've actually learned to read music from when it's ahead of me) don't have prescription in the side, and my music reading glasses (so far I've had two pairs of these and they are never right) put the music solidly in the blur zone. (I am extremely near sighted; for years I used my regular glasses to read music, not realizing that there was a really good reason that my musician friends had separate glasses for orchestra, and it made my music reading a lot worse than it already is.) So last night, every time I looked at the music, the bow would slide toward me, over the fingerboard, and my left wrist was kinked at an odd angle and there was no way I could reach the ring and pinky fingers far enough to play the correct notes, but I blustered my way through and was able to play a few things badly that before I couldn't play at all. So sincerely hoping that the "you can tell the difference the day AFTER you practice" is operational for me in this!

So what am I learning? That if asked to play Schickele's Viola 4 hands, ask for Viola 1, who gets to (almost, other than having to share an instrument) play in the normal way.

Deborah

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#24 of 86 Old 04-03-2016, 07:26 AM
 
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What am I learning...

I've been very, very (very very) slowly plodding my way through Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. Slowly, slowly, and this is with a lifetime of studying consciousness (though not philosophy, and it seems a good chunk of this book is devoted to refuting or concurring with other philosophers, which makes for some digression, but I'm learning to skim those parts and recognize the positions and summaries).

With me is my handy phone, helping bridge those obtuse parts and adding another layer to the exploration, and what it has added up to is a crash course in existentialism and all its branches and trunks. I've always leaned towards mysticism and myth and collective unconscious and comparative religion, and only modestly considered existentialism as another way of describing consciousness. Before this month, I couldn't give you a more than the broadest sweep. I've really only read Dostoyevsy, considered one of the existentialist authors. Now I know a bit more, and I'm practically creating my own coursework on it.

I know that diving headlong into philosophy is like plowing straight into an obstacle headlong and expecting it to move by sheer willpower, rather than using fiction and allegory to get a feel for the shape of it, can be a lot of wasted effort. But sometimes I like the dense quality of it. I like being able to only read one or two paragraphs and then considering before moving on. I like arguing with Sartre in my mind and in my notebooks. This is the first time I've read something that I know might be different than my personal beliefs, and I am daring him to convince me. He's so far very Buddhist, very Zen-like, and I'm not finding anything so far to contradict that, though I'm no expert on either and I've only made it in a few pages (very dense pages, mind).

I can't imagine what wading through a book like this would be like without a fair amount of experience in considering consciousness. It's easy for me to wrap my mind around what he's saying (when he isn't debating other philosophies or throwing out new terms). Basically, it boils down to a simple idea. But to read this as a 20-year-old? Wow. Go kids!!!

On my reading list next (after, oh, something like Count Zero and Dune because I need something fun) is Camus and more Dostoyevsky. I only wish I wasn't such a slow reader (though, really, I love it but it doesn't get me far with the time I have available.) After learning about the differences between existentialism and absurdism, I'm curious to explore that more deeply.

One career I'm thinking about is high school philosophy teacher. Do they even have that anymore? But I'm not sure if my reading style can keep up with the pace of study. And it might take the joy out of it. Or undergraduate philosophy classes might skim too shallowly, or too deeply in uninteresting places. Ah, but consideration of Self is what I do, and do for a fair chunk of the day every day, so maybe I could get paid for it...
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"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#25 of 86 Old 04-09-2016, 07:38 AM
 
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Another bit of "learning stuff":

I'm back on my short runs. I have trouble with shin splints, and I think it's my form. It's difficult adjusting without help, but I think I'm on to a couple of things. Like learning other physical skills, I have to learn it and try to forget it. Learn it. Forget it.

I don't slump, because of all the yoga I do my posture is good, but I've started to lean ever so slightly forward to find that sweet spot where I can feel a gentle pull of gravity. This helps keep my feet under me. Being attentive to the connection of my feet to the ground helps. Floating where they meet the ground, not slumping into my hips and base of skull. Making these changes, other changes fall into place, like shoulders and arms tend to do what they supposed to do.

Finding just the right stiffness in my ankles has been the single best adjustment for protecting my leg from shin splints. I'm hoping for long term success here. I did check my steps per minute, and it was fine, right in the "target" range.

I ran around my friend's hay field for the first time in months. The advice of "look 10 feet ahead" isn't all that practical here because the ground is that uneven, the tufts of thick grass make it more uneven and also obscure the footing until the last possible second. I can maybe look 5 feet forward if I'm lucky. Any further and I'm twisting my ankles. They already feel the work they do afterwards, so I know it wouldn't take much to twist an ankle badly. Even near home, our gravel road is uneven.

Like anything I guess you need to take what works for you and forget the rest.

On other fronts, I hit the jackpot at our local bookstore, walking away with 3 books that aren't easy just to check out from the library and read: Being and Nothingness (which I am currently reading), Varieties of Religious Experience, and Gödel, Escher, Bach. The latter two I started ages ago and want to read "again". All these books are best in small chunks, and so it works better to have them sitting around in my own library. The girls found a used hardback copy of Order of the Phoenix. My oldest has been reading the HP books, alternately by herself and then with one of us reading to her.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#26 of 86 Old 04-11-2016, 07:51 AM
 
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We read Sarte's Nausea in a philosophy course (long long ago) and I seem to remember the instructor saying that the take away is that one must construct one's own meaning in a universe that doesn't have external meaning, at least in terms of human ethics. Or something like that...

I have a whole stack of books (actually they are scattered all over the house) that I became enticed by a few weeks ago and then have hardly looked at since. Also every time I go outside I realize it's really beautiful, always in a different way: I should be living out there now and for most of the time until October. A couple of days ago the air was humid and full of the smell of "desert toxins": the creosote bushes from the Dry Land, a wet day sandwiched between dry dusty days with the wind howling over the roof and the neighbor's flag standing straight out...it's Red Flag fire weather but we've been lucky so far. We've had very little rain but it's almost green anyway, thanks to the one region wide snowstorm we had in late December. So...is it really still too early to plant garden stuff? How can it be? May 15 is supposed to be safe...but I am impatient...all too soon the sun will turn again.

Deborah
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#27 of 86 Old 04-11-2016, 09:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transpecos View Post
We read Sarte's Nausea in a philosophy course (long long ago) and I seem to remember the instructor saying that the take away is that one must construct one's own meaning in a universe that doesn't have external meaning, at least in terms of human ethics. Or something like that...

Deborah
I was interested more in what Sartre thought about consciousness itself. I do now have a long reading list of existentialist/absurdist fiction to keep around, but I was curious what existentialists had to say about consciousness directly. So far (and I'm not far) it sounds kind of zen to me. I mean "if you prefer, that the nature of consciousness is a circle" (paraphrased) that's... not what I expected! He says that I am not that, but then he says that the self is also the infinite because of interactions, past and present... I really can't even reword it properly yet!

Basically, the problem of meaning and ethics, etc. is a non-problem for me, no longer intellectually interesting to explore, and it isn't why I'm delving into philosophy, but the nature of what consciousness IS. Describe it! I was pretty tickled to discover this volume that instantly goes straight to the heart of what I wanted to understand, though it's THICK. I don't mind, I only wish I had more time to read it.

I don't say I would agree with it, but so far I find no disagreement either.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#28 of 86 Old 04-12-2016, 09:03 AM
 
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I was pretty tickled to discover this volume that instantly goes straight to the heart of what I wanted to understand, though it's THICK. I don't mind, I only wish I had more time to read it.

I don't say I would agree with it, but so far I find no disagreement either.
Sounds fun, having something you can really exercise your intellectual muscles on!

I am at this point still relentlessly avoiding taxes, although I do have a browser tab on Free Fillable Forms, and a stack of needed papers, including last year's return. I'm also doing my kids (or one at least, Zela doesn't likely have to, and Yana (always precocious in everything practical) may have done hers already.

Last night's musical started off as usual, to the horror of the new keyboard prof at State U, a diminutive older woman addressed as "Dr." (everyone else is on a first name basis, will be interesting to see how long this plays out)...but when we got there, not all of the music stands were there and others were being swapped because they had various defects, and the box of stand lights had not been found yet. I wasn't watching the time, but I think it took at least an hour to even get the cords arranged so that everything could be plugged in and the orchestra and cast assembled, and then several false starts after that: when the lights were turned off, something crucial got turned off as well, and something similar happened with the enormous sound board installation at the back of the studio theater. And the director, who generally has a sunny if demanding disposition, was uncharacteristically critical: the "I sent you an email about" was really not necessary as she repeated some instructions for the orchestra starting a song before the lights came on! And other stuff like that. If it weren't for the (finally) hopeful tone of the last piece of a musical that is as dreadful as any tragic opera, having addressed various sorts of parentl/authority figure shaming/brutality, sexism, conformity, suicide, shunning, sex, abortion, death...well, anyway...without that final ray of hope, it would be hard to get through the upcoming week & 9 performances! At the break, Dr. F. asked me if this was the usual way things unfolded and I told here, "with this director, par for the course" and she said "I've never actually played in a musical before!"..."where has she been?" asked husband (in small towns every available musician gets pressed into service at some time; I guess she's not been in small towns!).

Sharing bed with Biggest Dog (snoring, as usual, the reason he is not allowed to sleep with us at night), writing posts instead of starting taxes, which I should be able to do TODAY because the weather is dark and cold and the neighbor's flag is standing out straight, with wind from north east. Yup!

Deborah
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#29 of 86 Old 06-06-2016, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Resurrecting this thread to say that I'm finally making decent progress through the Web Dev course I signed up for in (!!) February. After stalling through most of April and May I am now almost a third of the way through and am to the point where I can begin to use what I'm learning. No backend stuff yet, but my frontend skills are coming along. I built this landing page for the arts society that oversees our Suzuki summer camp. At this point it still feeds into an ugly Wordpress site and a clunky registration script, but it's a start.

It's not live yet, because I still have some image optimization left to do that will help it load faster and scale to mobile a bit better. But you can get there with this link: http://valhallafinearts.org/index_vfa.html


Miranda

Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
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#30 of 86 Old 06-06-2016, 03:08 PM
 
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I finished up the last of my assignments for the first class I am in. There are many more classes to go for this program, dont worry. While I was anything but impressed with the class I am hoping for better in the next classes. With everything I have going on in my life plus my mental issues I am proud that I stuck with it, did the assignments and the posting requirements. I know I earned a "B" and in my book thats d@mn good at this point in my life. I am not trying to kill myself and have another mental collapse for a 4.0, there is nothing wrong with being a 3.0 student.
Next class uploads on Thursday and is 8 weeks long. That class is Ethics so hopefully it has the ability to hold my attention longer and is 100% secular.

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2017 the year of peace and tranquility.
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