Archive for January, 2015

Fear of change.

Intimidating. Imposing. Daunting. Impossible, even. That’s how I feel looking at the borders of another country, of a place where the syllables they utter from their throats are a different kind than mine. I’m a very “comfort zone” centric person. I’m not opposed to change, but change doesn’t often accommodate me by coming slowly and with a lot of warning. Change kind of whirls around and sucker punches me when I’m not looking, and that shit scares me.  How do we eliminate fear? Well, we can’t completely. But we’re frightened of something we don’t understand. I don’t understand a lot of cultures that are different from our own. For my independent learning project, I’m gonna try to get rid of some of that fear.

fear

Photo CC -by Nomadic Lass, and a great still shot of “fear”

I’ve wanted to learn another language for awhile. Particularly one I could actually use around this area. It’s always impressive to me when someone can just jump between language, and it feels like it’s all a big club I’m not part of.

Luckily, I have a girlfriend who happened to spend a year of her life in China. I’ve heard that Mandarin is one of the most difficult languages to get a hang of, since it’s largely character based in its written form. And to boot, she wants to be a teacher for a living. See where I’m going with this?

I’ll be honest, if I was choosing languages to learn, I don’t think I’d choose Mandarin first. I probably would have chosen French or Spanish due to their localized practicalities, but I can’t really beat the convenience of living with my teacher in that instance (wow that sounded wrong I apologize).

But, Chinese culture is a wide-reaching one. Most major U.S. cities have a Chinatown district. Speaking Mandarin would open up another corner of the world for me, plus another slew of employment opportunities. Not to mention it’d be kind of fun to be able to maintain secret conversation with said girlfriend. I can see the looks of confusion coming from people around us when two of the whitest people ever start speaking an Oriental language. Doesn’t that thought make you chuckle?

China

Photo CC-by Jonathan Kos-Read

So, we’re gonna give it a whirl. I’m gonna try to read, write, and speak Mandarin. Everyone keep Tristen Hust in their thoughts, ’cause she’s gonna need some luck for this one.

Also, this:

Ambitus

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You know, I’ve never been on “vacation.” Not in the idyllic, get-away to a beach or a cabin in the woods sense. I’ve had time off, and I’ve travelled, but I’ve never been able to just laze about on a beach. It’s a dream of mine to be able to take the ladyfriend and I on a cruise or something like that eventually, but right now the moths in my wallet are starving.

All that being said, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s graphic novel “This One Summer” is quite the one-two punch. In a nutshell, it deals with the coming-of-age tale of Rose Wallace and her friend Windy at their summer cottages at Awago Beach.

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Photo CC- by Kim Seng – is this really paradise, or just what we’re tempered to consider paradise?

The Story:

I’ve gotta give it to Mariko Tamaki, I was never a teenage girl, but she nails all the struggles of the transition between being a kid and a teenager / “young adult”. Rose has been going to this cottage with her parents since she was five, but something’s different about this year. The rose colored glasses are starting to crack. Rose’s parents are fighting, her dad is immature, her mom is reserved and on-edge, and her friend, Windy, is a bit immature for her tastes. The book is filled with its fair share of carefree summery fuckery; Rose and Windy take an affinity to horror movies, swimming, the freedom of being able to spend their own money (on candy, but still), but for every carefree moment there are three that are emotionally exhausting.

Rose and Windy (moreso Rose) take a fascination with some local teenagers who run a c-store. They’re your typically crude, bumbling teenagers, but the mysterious of their romances and where their crude behavior / vocabulary comes from fascinates the younger girls. I remember being a kid and incorporating certain.. uh.. explicit words I didn’t quite understand in my vocabulary, and being red-faced when I was caught using them.

Largely, the story tackles the conflicts people come across in their life, despite being in “paradise.” Pregnancy, puberty, relationships, issues everyone deals with one way or another. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the story after I first finished the book. I had to chew on it for awhile. There are some loose ends that are never tied off, but that’s how life is. There is often no answer to the question. It was interesting to peer into the world of a pre-teen girl, though. While the book is by no means “feminist,” it is very new-wave, demonstrating how certain sexist misconceptions get placed into girls’ heads, featuring non-conventional characters (adoptive parents, lesbians, larger women who don’t look like Barbie dolls). The story really has to be read to be appreciated.

Copyright – Jillian Tamaki

The Artwork

This is where “This One Summer” really shone. Jillian Tamaki has made some of the best artwork I’ve seen in a graphic novel to date. Her style consists of some very stylized backgrounds, with some simpler looking characters – a technique Scott McCloud in “Understanding Comics” mentions is often used to make it easier to substitute yourself into the character’s shoes. The colors are very de-saturated, mostly blue line shading that makes the entire book feel like a memory.

Copyright – Jillian Tamaki

And that’s precisely what the book is – a memory. Not just of Rose, but of any of us who have experienced some difficulty coming into adolescence. Tamaki makes frequent usage of some interesting techniques, including crazy shaped speech bubbles, written out sounds in true comic book fashion (click, splash, whif, etc.), and a really great shot of the ocean that, after a page turn, becomes the sky for the next scene.

When it’s necessary, characters are drawn in more fleshed-out detail to add some weight to the seriousness of certain scenes. The artwork of this novel is what kept me page turning, perhaps even moreso than the story. I love it. It’s simplistic enough when the mood is light, like when Windy dances around Rose in what is surely a Calvin and Hobbes throwback panel, but when Rose’s parents (Alice and Evan) are going at it, the detail becomes much more surreal.

The artwork is highly non-conventional in that there are multi-page spreads, often no panels at all, and often entire portions of blank page sectioned off for text. It helps to break up the pacing of what is actually quite long for a graphic novel.

Copyright – Jillian Tamaki

The Verdict

“This One Summer” evokes this feeling from me like there’s so much under the surface that I’m not quite scraping up. It’s there. I know it is. It’s hidden right under the sand. But even just looking at the surface, I enjoyed “This One Summer” thoroughly. I think it would make a great staple for Young Adult lit classes, as well as those looking to break into graphic novels. It’s more serious (to me) than something like Laura Lee Gulledge’s “Page by Paige”, has an art style I’m in love with, and despite having weighty elements, isn’t serious to the point of inspiring depression. I’d say give it a go. It was, after all, one of Dr. Ellington’s favorite books of 2014. 

To close, here’s this:

Aestas

Let’s get something straight.

I understand that the human language is flexible. I understand that words have meaning that change and evolve over time, and I understand that people are going to use words how they want to use words. I understand that the original definition of the word “hack” meant to tinker with or achieving a goal through non-conventional means, okay? I get that.

But I hate the oversaturation of the word now in 2015.  I was born and raised in the generation where I was taught “hacking” was the cracking of a computer system. When I hear someone describe something as a “life hack,” I’m sorry,  but my skin crawls. I am a tech freak at heart, and unless you’re breaking a code or calling someone a hack, other uses do not jive with me. Okay?

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Photo CC- by bareform, and THIS IS HACKING OKAY JEEZ

“Hacking” Education

So, a young fellow by the name of Logan LaPlante gave a TEDTalk at an age where most of the people I know were still bumbling through angsty adolescence and could barely decide what color of ripped jeans to wear.

Mr. LaPlante’s message is simple: we need to reform education. We need to make sure kids are happy and healthy above all else, and we need to foster their passions rather than squash them with conventional, ineffective education techniques.

Bud Hunt wrote a blog post with similar ideas entitled “Make/Hack/Play,” stating that the three things we need to emphasize in education are creation, innovation, and freedom.

I’m on the fence with this one, ladies and gentlemen. I’m 100% on board with emphasis on freedom, on happiness over test scores, on pursuing passions over outdated curricula. What I am not 100% on board with, is the recent tendency to fetishize innovation over all else. People eat TED Talks up. How often do you watch one, feel an immense burst of inspiration, and then… do absolutely nothing with it? I know I’m guilty. This is my problem: this emphasis on radical innovation creates an environment in which laziness breeds rampant. We can feel better about ourselves for not doing anything to change the world, so long as we listen to and agree with people who have good ideas about how to do so.

Public school is the sharpest double-edged sword there ever was. Kids learn social skills, make friends, and give their parents 8 hour breaks from their hormonal outrages. School also forces kids into cliques, fosters an excellent “dog eat dog, kill or be killed” social environment, and gives many people debilitating anxietal and self esteem issues from day one. Too smart? You’re a nerd, and you’re a faggot, and you make everyone else look bad because you’re a freak. Too slow? You’re a retard, and a moron, and you should just give up now. Like the color black or skateboards? You’re a stoner, and you’re a goth, and you love drugs, and you’re a delinquent who will never amount to anything.

That’s public school. It forges some of us in steel and makes us strong. Others become brittle in the process. They look fine on the outside, but inside, there’s pieces missing.

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Photo CC-by Feggy Art

Is There an Answer?

I have no blanket solution toward fixing the broken education system. That’s what it is: it’s broken. I don’t care about dissenting opinions. Students in certain European countries go to college for free. Then they churn out more scientists, doctors, and credible artists than we could possibly dream of. A system where the amount of money you’ll be rewarded for an education is relative to how well you fill bubbles in on a ScanTron is fundamentally fucked up. Period.

I believe people like Mr. LaPlante and Mr. Hunt are on the right track. Public schools attempt to teach obedience and discipline over all else. We claim recess is only for little kids, but anyone who can throw a football reasonably well is perpetually carried through high school, and a lot of colleges. We expect kids to know enough about their passions and their lives to dictate where they go between ages 16 and 18. Kids haven’t experienced a fraction of their lives or passions at 18, yet school systems expect them to choose ONE major through college and stick with it, lest their wallet now and forever be perpetually raped by the United States Government.

It starts at a ground level. Not every school is going to get to have a curricula that involves skiing or glass blowing or anything like that. Some people are so staunchly in favor of a broken system that it’s quite baffling.

Teachers: foster creativity. Foster passion. It’s okay to like football. It’s also okay to like dance, computer science, Calculus, scratch drawing. We need critical thinkers, we need analysts. Enough of the “out of the box” bullshit. Forget the box altogether. Thinking in or out of the box keeps you firmly in the status quo. Be the teacher that cares enough to not talk down to your students, but not let them breeze through. Don’t let students think learning is “for fags,” don’t let them think failure is all they’ll ever amount to.

I’ve had 2 types of teachers talk to me in my life. I’ve had teachers who’ve told me “y’know, teaching is an alright gig. It’s job security. It isn’t my first choice, but eh,” and I’ve had teachers who told me, “If you don’t feel the call to educate, don’t waste your own or anyone else’s time.”

I think I understand the difference now.

Docendo discimus

(Disclaimer: This blog contains some strong language, and the only reason I’m being polite enough to put in a disclaimer is because I understand some of you are new to this enigmatic ball of hair and pent-up aggression that is Jeff McFarland. This is your first and only warning.)

That’s how the line goes, right? “We can rebuild him – we have the technology,” and indeed we do, boys and girls. It’s 2015. The future seems to eek closer toward us with each passing day. Nike announces self-tying shoes, the world’s top scientists (including Stephen Hawking) warn of the dangers of artificial intelligence, and supposedly, a hoverboard is in the works. We’ve truly reached the future, eh?

Always In Motion Is The Future

Get in, loser, we’re going back to the future. Photo CC- by JD Hancock

Though, the thing about when people talk about us nearing the “future,” is I call immediate bullshit. When people say we’re headed for the future, they usually mean we’re on the brink of some technological breakthrough (the brink meaning 10-15 years off at the very least) and we imagine our strange, sci-fi-fantasy version of the future to be just around the corner. We’re in the now. Technology is flying right now. The internet is no longer a stand-alone browser app in your computer: everything is smart (except maybe the people). TVs, phones, tablets, even picture frames. Fucking picture frames can connect to a cloud and stream photographs. As amazing as that is, it’s a little daunting too.

So, in an age where going out to dinner means sitting with 3 to 6 other people all staring at their glowing crotches and maintaining no contact with one another throughout the duration of the meal, what hope is there for homo sapiens to not simply plug and download their brains directly into Facebook? Well, if one remembers the original intent of the Internet – networking, to make the world a smaller place, we can discover some potential for good in the cesspit of evil that is the Internet.

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Photo CC-by MTSOfan, and no witty quip is needed

What is Digital Literacy?

A lot of .edu websites seem to favor defining Digital Literacy as “the understanding of, and ability to use the Internet in a responsible manner to facilitate learning.” Something like that. I don’t like that very much. In researching an answer to the above question, I stumbled upon an article on TeachThought by Terry Heick that I think hit a lot of important nuances of the question that Universities seem to overlook. Technology, the internet, all of it- are fluid. By tomorrow, yesterday’s newest device is obsolete. The internet, as both Terry and I pointed out, isn’t a stand alone thing. Not anymore. According to Heick’s article, “Digital literacy is the ability to interpret and design nuanced communication across fluid digital forms.” I think that’s a pretty good definition. It allows for flexibility in “digital forms,” emphasizes “communication” over viral cat videos, and illustrates the importance of being able to interpret information. The only thing missing, in my opinion, is a note about the responsibility needed when technology is part of the playing field.

It’s not good enough to know how to use a computer or a smartphone. To be truly “digitally literate,” you need some essential skills. You need to know how to be able to search smart, be it for academic research or even typing things into Google. You need a basic grasp on copyright law so that you don’t accidentally piss off someone who can happily and legally sue the shit out of you. You need to be able to judge the merit and authenticity of things you stumble upon, and you need to know what not to click on. Also, as a bonus tip, you need to know most Anti-Virus software is bullshit. Your computer came equipped with an anti-virus that does everything the ones you’re paying for charge to do.

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Photo CC-by Joe, and what an image

Granted, a basic grasp on how to use technology is the only way to start developing any of these skills. I’ve known my way around a computer since I was about 5 or 6, and now I’m the guy who the “No, I will not fix your computer” shirt was made for. The thing is, most of my “fixes” could be done by anyone with a little know-how. Seriously. Don’t install shit you don’t need or if you aren’t sure about the source, keep complicated passwords, and you’re 2/3rds of the way there. I used to roll my eyes at Excel and Word classes that teach people the extremely complicated nuances of clicking “File -> Save,” but I realized the truth – that some people really have trouble with that. I know how to do advanced searches, I know how not to get sued, and I know how to keep my computer clean. What I need work on, is tolerance of those who have a knowledge level below mine.

Not everyone has been behind a keyboard since childhood. The internet / home computer has only been a thing for less than half a century. I also need to recognize that there are those who know infinitely more than I do. I can fix a computer’s software. When it comes to the guts of the machine, I know next to nothing. If a computer has a problem inside of it, I’m boned.

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Photo CC-by lgb06, strangely pertinent given this week’s itinerary
I think the most important step people can take to get better at these things, is simply to undertake the effort to get better. I know that sounds idiotic, but seriously. Take a class at a community college to teach you about Word or Excel, they help, despite what snobs like me believe. Check the credibility of your sources before you share some dumb shit on Facebook. Snopes.com is your friend. Take a typing class (if you didn’t have to in grade school) and avoid the atrocious-looking “search and peck” method of typing. If our society is going to be so reliant on technology, you’re going to have to be on the up-and-up.

Progressum

As I stare at this empty text box, something Scott McCloud says in his textbook, for lack of a better term, on graphic novels, rings true in my head. He emphasizes that something that is unique to the comic as a medium of communication, is the significance of absence.

Wait, what?

I mean, novels do it to an extent. Oftentimes a chapter will end with an exceptionally shocking event, and those are the last words of the page before you flip it. But it isn’t the same. In a comic, a blank panel contains nothing, but suggests everything. A narrative in novel form can’t do that, at least not in the same way. The way your mind fills the gap between what is suggested and what is reality, jumping the empty space between panels of a graphic novel, is referred to as closure.

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Photo CC-by Tom Magllery, and I shudder to think of what a “manly closure” entails

That sentence sounds far too serious for a comic book, doesn’t it? Closure. Finality, mortality, the terminal destination, the ultimate, etc, etc. I’ve done my preaching on this blog about comics as a serious art form. The unconvinced aren’t going to be convinced, and for them, I am genuinely sorry. They are intentionally depriving themselves of a world of learning and growth that could provide invaluable. I’ve made my case for and against capes. The short of it is that to your brain, it’s all the same. Dickens and Gaiman fire off the same synapses. Disagree all you want, the truth of science doesn’t care about your belief.

If you haven’t gathered, I’m working independently with Dr. Ellington this semester in a quest to study the graphic novel. I’ve spouted on about them before, but I felt like I needed a true foundation before I could actually speak with any credibility. Like so many before me, I’ve started with Scott McCloud’s textbook-cleverly-disguised-as-a-graphic-novel, “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.” The book provides a handy history of the comic, a rigid criteria of the difference between a comic and a picture or a cartoon, and a handy glossary of terms to encompass what are some pretty nebulous ideas. For a graphic novel, it’s incredibly dense. The only one I’ve read so far to rival it has probably been Watchmen, which is, dare I say it…? A classic.

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Did I really just say that? Photo CC-by Fellciano Guimaraes

Upon further review of the book, I find that it’s a year younger than I am, which is daunting, and probably one of the most universally accepted and praised books on the graphic novel, which is impressive. I can see why, as well. I’ve only read three chapters, and my mind has been blown numerous times. Like, it’s getting to be a mess in here. One of these particular thoughts that threw me for a loop is an analysis of why we’re so attracted to cartoons (be us young or old). Let me borrow some of McCloud’s thunder for a moment (see what I did there?)

When I put a semi-colon next to a closing parenthesis, what do you see? 🙂
You see a face. No matter what you do, you cannot un-see a face. It’s the simplest pair of characters, and yet your brain makes it into a simplified version of one of the most complex things to convey in drawing or in descriptive storytelling. Isn’t that incredible? Cartoons (be them the Saturday morning style or a single panel of “Family Circus”), amplify by simplifying. You didn’t mishear me. You didn’t hear me at all, for that matter.

By stripping down a visual style to the most barebones details needed to retain meaning, the meaning retains the greater significance. You can focus more on ideas or concepts and worry less about realism. Another reason cartoons will favor simplicity is because it’s easier to insert yourself into the story. Prime case-in-point: Bella in the Twilight novels. She’s so agonizingly plain and boring that 13 year old girls and depressed housewives can effortlessly drop into her shoes and take her place without thinking about it. Without characters that can be identified with, or a world that readers can be immersed in, you’ve got nothing.

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Photo CC-by Jayhem, maybe there’s something to all this “We have to go deeper!” stuff.

This is me scratching the surface of McCloud’s work in the book. I mean, I’m only on chapter four, and I don’t want to worship the text, but it does provide a great diving board for true dissection and analysis of the graphic novel. It’ll be me feeling it out as I go, but in blog posts following this one, I intend to go over the narrative (or lack thereof) that I find in any comics, as well as the significance in the art style. I am not an artist, at least, not in the drawing-painting sense. This entire endeavor equates to me looking at a bookshelf, going “Oo, this looks kinda neat,” and then putting on my literary pants and trying to find significance.

But that’s life, right? I believe it’s more about creating significance than it is about finding it. We’ll see if I feel the same way when mid-term rolls around.

Quaerere

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages..

I’m back!

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Photo CC-by Bart Maguire, who presumably went on an adventure.

Yes, it’s a new year (and my final one) here at Chadron State, and the prodigal son truly returns to the English and Humanities department with a vengeance. This year I’ll be comparing religions, novelizing graphics, and literally digitizing with the very best of ’em. In all seriousness, it feels good to be back among the bookworms and writers among us.

That brings me to the main event of the post: Dr. Elisabeth Ellington’s Literacy in the Digital Age class. This class is going to center a lot, I’m guessing, on learning. About learning. Wait, what?

So, on the note of learning, I’m being asked to give something new a whirl here. I’m still blogging in my lovable Cracked,com format of witty banter-image-witty banter-image, but now I’m being asked to give it an actual purpose – 5 things that shaped me as a learner – and to do it all without potentially violating copyright law.
I think I can handle that.

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Photo CC-by az. Quite the name.
The first of five key experiences in my life that shaped the way I learn, and the way I pretty much operate at all today, was learning to read.

I know that sounds like a “duh,” but I could read on my own before kindergarten. I have my mom to thank for that. When I was around 4 or 5, every day was ended with a Goosebumps book. She read them to me, often had me read a few pages, and I would inevitably pass out on the couch. Not only do I have her to thank for my ability to read, but for my affinity for all things dark and spooky. Thanks, ma.

Seriously, though, being literate early on has given me the biggest jumpstart I could ever need. When you can read, the world is open to you. Travel isn’t an issue, you can do almost anything with a How-To book and a decently put together YouTube video, and you are never incapable of communicating with someone.. despite possibly being a continent or two away. Reading = writing. From literacy comes a growth of vocabulary, empathy, geographical knowledge, what have you. Reading is step one on the journey that is learning. When people say “I haven’t read a book since high school,” I want to vomit. On them. Hopefully I’ve eaten something messy the night before.

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Photo CC-by crypto, because street signs are apparently all the rage right now.

It wouldn’t be until late middle school-early high school that I would come across a teacher that I truly respected. If my appearance in the “About Me” section of this blog doesn’t give it away, I have a bit of a problem with authority figures. Always have, always will – only now I can use the excuse of being an adult for when my mouth happens to fire off like a cannon.

That being said, Mr. Dick RIschling taught the marching bands at Alliance High / Alliance Middle School in Alliance, Nebraska for I believe 33 years, and I was fortunate enough to be a small part of those years. Those who made the mistake of thinking band was an excuse to dick around for 45 minutes and get an easy A were in for a brutal wake up call. This man provided me with such great quotes as

“I love conflict, I win them all!” 

Dick Rischling was the type of man who would go for a two-mile run and smoke every 15 minutes while still running. He had zero time for slackers, zero tolerance for class clowns, and was not afraid to say what he thought. He was like the Gordon Ramsay of marching band. Ask other AHS graduates if I’m kidding. The man taught me to stand up straight and carry myself with some dignity, to force my nose to the grindstone, and kept me humble when my sarcastic mouth got the better of me. If my mom provided me with the tools to learn, Dick Rischling provided me with the devotion that was necessary.

So I had the skills, and I had the motivation. What’s left?

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Photo CC-by Nate Cochran, and a damn fine picture if I do say so myself

Self-confidence. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I began to branch out and discover something about myself. I was borderline misanthropic, extremely anti-social, and probably pretty socially awkward. I had a set circle of friends I had always had, and other than out with them, I went nowhere. I hung out at home, read, played video games, and surfed the web. My life was pretty consistently boring this way until my parents bought me a guitar.

About a year later, around April 29th, 2009, the band I’m in, Monster in the Mirror, had their first concert. Something lying dormant inside me woke up that night. The general consensus was shock: this shy, kinda weird kid who didn’t say much in class was a natural on stage. The crowd of 200 or so people loved us. And 6 years later, we’re still a band.

Being up on a stage allowed me to be everything I wasn’t. Up there, I was loud, I was mean, I was aggressive, I was a commanding force. And it all felt good. After that, I began to speak up in classes. My sarcasm and my opinionated nonsense became more and more frequent. I knew what I was talking about. If I didn’t, I knew I could learn, and I knew I could be good at it. Now I make money making an ass of myself on stage, and I’m slowly but surely beginning a career as a writer, something else I thought I could never do. Never underestimate the power of knowing you can do something. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

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Photo CC-by Phillip Taylor, of something that doesn’t exist in 2015

Success is nice, of course, but to me, the most powerful teaching / learning tool is failure. For me, the hardest lesson I ever learned was learned the hard way. That lesson, quite simply, is not to settle.

I was in a relationship for 4 years, 2 in high school, and 2 in college. When that relationship started to fall apart, I panicked, and did the worst possible thing in an attempt to try and salvage what was left. I proposed.

19 and engaged. Never thought that would be me, but it was. I’m not against early engagements: if you think you know, then go for it. Just be prepared for what could happen. But take it from me: never, ever, ever, ever propose out of fear. You’re building pillars of salt on top of a waterbed. It was doomed to fail from the start. Friends and family tried to warn me, but I was comfortable in my routine of boredom. I don’t regret the time spent, because the lesson I learned was invaluable. Still, it’s left me with some extra bags that I’d very much like to get rid of, and have yet to figure out how. I do have someone very special who’s helping me with that, though. Things do get better.

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Photo CC-by SNIJLAB Rotterdam

That being said, the bottom-line lesson that has come from all of this, and the thing that will best facilitate both teachers and learners alike, is flexibility. Don’t become rigid in any way. I understand that routine and familiarity is comfortable, but standing water breeds pestilence. Not everyone learns the same way you do. Not everyone teaches the same way you do. Deal with these things. You can make plans for 6 years from next Tuesday all you want, but the fact of the matter is, life is unpredictable. Sometimes it’ll flip the table on you, and you’ve got to be prepared to pick up the pieces and rearrange the silverware, ya dig?

So, that’s it for me. 5 things that shaped the way I learn, but in all honesty, these 5 things shaped my life; who I am as a person. Maybe those things are synonymous – being a person and being a learner. Whoa. I just blew my own mind. I think I need to sit down.

Percipio Percepi Perceptum