Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blogging Before Blogging Was Cool -- Diversity in Learning

Recently, I was reminiscing while web-surfing.  To my utter surprise, I found the "ghost"  of a website that I had written way back between 1996 and 1999.  Back then, I was very active on the web -- much more so than I am now.  I had written and taught one of the first online HTML classes and my website covered a variety of subjects --- part of it was a personal area that I called "The Most Important Things in Life". This section served pretty much the purpose of what we now call a blog. I included little snippets of my life, personal thoughts and just the things that I felt needed saying.  Fifteen or more years have past and I think at least some of what I wrote is still relevant today and is revealing of "who" I was then and who I am today.

I'm going to share -- randomly of course -- a few of these vintage posts,  dredged up from when "blog" wasn't even a word but people were still sharing ideas, thoughts and pieces of their hearts. 

Here's my first shared post from long long ago -- with just a few edits....

If you have a few moments, think about this Quote....
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.
                                   --From the writings of Heinlein
My thoughts:

I think it speaks highly of the human need to continually expand the boundaries of our knowledge or to face a lapse into stagnation. I am not so sure I want to learn to do *ALL* of the things the quote suggests (!) but I do think it is important to realize that we should never stop learning. And that instilling the LOVE of learning in others, especially young people can be the greatest gift we can give anyone.

A good basic education should be offered to and pursued by all since it is a blessing and a foundation upon which we can to continue to build throughout our lives.

But much of what there is to be learned is not readily available in a classroom and learning from experience is often even more challenging than learning from a formal class. It helps if we  can view learning NOT just a task but approached as an adventure.

Considering the learning value in visiting a historic site, helping to clean up an urban area, listening to the music of faraway lands, watching a ballet, making a web page, experiencing the wonder of literature through reading, identifying the herbs growing in a suburban neighborhood, making a clay pot the way it was made 500 years ago and yes, learning to change a diaper, take orders, cook a tasty meal, balance accounts, program a computer .... All of these are among so many, many others things we can challenges ourselves to learn and by doing these we can teach ourselves so much more than what any textbook can do.

First and foremost we must be receptive to learning experiences when and where they present themselves. 

We can be taught to be self-sufficient and to realize our own self-worth.

We can learn how to express ourselves in new and exciting ways.

Through keeping our minds flexible we can learn to be better friends, parents, daughters, sons, lovers, spouses.

We can learn how to be better representatives of humanity and to love and respect the Earth and all peoples!

As a person who has always loved Science Fiction, I would hope that some day, when we do travel beyond Earth or if we are visited by beings from another world, that our openness to learning will allow us to understand, interact with, and learn from any life-forms that we might encounter!

Each of us should be continually looking for ways to learn and to spread our knowledge to others. The gift of knowledge is the one gift that fits all sizes, shapes and ages. It can be given again and again and there is always more.

Sharing your knowledge freely with other is really just another way of sharing your love.

Smiles and Purrs!Kitty (aka "Ghatten")

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