Thursday, November 24, 2011

Puppy Tricks and Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is here and it’s a natural time to reflect on our lives.  Since this is a blog about learning/education, I would like to reflect about what my family has recently learned and why I’m thankful about it.

I’m learning how to teach my dog new tricks.  It’s so fun!  I really get a kick out of dog training!  My dog, Abby, is smart and energetic so she’s pretty easy to teach new things.  She loves the attention and stimulation…oh yeah; the treats are pretty awesome too!  Her newest tricks are:  balancing a biscuit on her nose, laying in her bed when I say “Go to bed”, giving me a “high five” in order to get a tummy scratch, and her most useful trick…she will touch her nose on the end of a stick so now I can teach her a bunch of new things.  The first one I’m going to try to teach her is to “Take a bow”.

I’m also learning even more about education reform and how I might be able to help bring change to my own community.  Towards that effort, I am currently reading these books:  “The Element” by Ken Robinson and “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier.  I’m also thankful for the opportunity to hang out and learn at the Innovation Lab with Monika Hardy.

I’m considering taking a workshop or class on public speaking.  Speaking in front of people is a personal weakness I’d like to remedy in order to be better at my job and to be more effective when advocating for the things that are important to me.  I’m still working up the courage to sign up for a class.  I’ll keep you posted.

Tessa is still living in a hostel with 18 other teens for National Novel Writing Month.  She is learning how to play and shuffle cards like a pro, partner dance, live without her family, sleep in a noisy house, and motivate herself to write a novel.  I’m sure there are hundreds of other things she has learned on this trip.  I’m inspired by her courage.

Lee is learning to play “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Aeroplane” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the bass guitar.

Jacob is meeting lots of new people, playing the guitar, and writing.  He is also troubleshooting for the Innovation Lab and mentoring other students.  Being out of college, working and negotiating his way through life and love has been a huge learning experience for him.  The lessons he learned in the last 6 months, he will draw from the rest of his life.

So today, I’m thankful for the freedom to learn whatever I’m interested in.  I’m also thankful that I can learn in the ways that are best for me as an individual and I’m especially thankful I can provide that freedom for my kids.  It’s gratifying to watch them discover new interests and develop new skills.  I believe they will continue to learn and challenge themselves the rest of their lives and that makes this Mom very happy.

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