Learning new things

I just finished a book about micro-mastery, which sounded really interesting at first, and then just became vaguely annoying. I was disappointed because the premise was good. It wasn't annoying because of errant information or ideas, it's just that the author came up with some catchy phrases to describe an idea, and then forced everything else into his neat little jargonish mold. Oh, and the breathlessness with which he delivered this less-than-earth-shattering discovery was also a little tedious. It made me sigh. A lot.

So why do I even bring this up, since I'm obviously not going to recommend this book to you? Well, because I still like the idea of it, even if I found the author trying. The main idea is that anyone can learn to do a lot of different things well enough. The corollary to that is by learning to do a lot of different things well enough, it makes you a more interesting person, plus all those different things inform one another and increase your creativity.

I was kvetching to J. that it seems silly to write a book about how to begin to learn to do different things, because people who learn to do different things already do this naturally. He reminded me that I might do these things naturally, but that does not mean everyone does. I still want to disagree. I want to believe that most adults still know how to learn new things.

Please tell me I'm not wrong! Sure there are seasons where we adults have less free time than we would like, but that doesn't mean we can't still be learning something. It might just mean that we don't have as much time to spend on it as we would like. Personally, I love nothing better than finding something new to learn about and diving in.

Currently, the things I'm working on learning or getting better at include:

  • French (always, though I need to be a little more diligent to make progress)
  • Spinning
  • Education/brain science -I usually always have at least one book on these topics that I'm in the middle of
  • Oceans and ocean life - I think I'm going to turn it into a unit study for the coming school year
  • Knitting - I'm currently working on a small hammerhead shark
  • Gardening - I'm excited about how well the plants are doing in the garden
Things I want to learn to do in the near future:
  • Pressure canning - I'd love to be able to can soup and stocks, and there is an extension class being offered that I think I'll sign up for
  • Knitting lace - I have some really nice singles that I spun which I think would make some really lovely lace
  • Make souffles - I have a recipe book that has quite a few souffle recipes in it that sound intriguing
These are hardly a comprehensive lists, but you get the idea. It's not what you are learning, but that you are interested in the world around you and want to learn new things. You don't need a class to learn something. Just dive in! 

So now, tell me, what are you learning? What do you want to learn? Am I really one of the few who do this? And if you feel as though you haven't learned anything new recently, why not? What's stopping you from venturing out to new territory? 


Maria said…
Before kiddos I did this a lot....sewing, cross stitch, tatting, scrapping....I have bins of supplies. Now I do smaller, faster things....I still want to learn stained glass....
Anonymous said…
You are not a typical person :). You do more, learn more, and know more than the rest of us.

I am trying to learn. I'm trying to learn to home school! I'm trying to learn about special needs and cognitive development (my youngest has Down syndrome) and am working through a pile of books about all of it. I'm trying to learn to bake bread easily (or if I should just give-up and buy a bread machine). I'd like to learn to make kefir and yogurt and to ferment/pickle veggies. I'd like to learn to keep a clean house. I've taken various steps in the right direction for all of these things. I'm further along on some things than on others. One day at a time!

I want to learn to sew. I want to learn Spanish.

Maria said…
Milk kefir is super easy! Just dump some grains in the milk and let it sit. Strain it out and start again!
Anonymous said…
Well, I bought grains, but then when I looked at the package it has like 3 different bacteria in it. The kefir that I've been buying from Whole Paycheck has about 12 bacteria in it. I want all that bacteria. I assumed the grains I bought would have that. I'd like to get a culture going with the store-bought one and it's that whole process about which I am unsure.

When I was a kid my grandmother (from the "Old Country") used to culture kefir and yogurt from an existing batch of the same. She never used a packet of grains.

Have you ever done it the "old school" way? Thoughts?

Annie Parker said…
I don't think you are typical, but you do inspire me!
I'm currently learning to garden (I am trying to overcome a naturally black thumb), and also toying with Russian. In the winter I was learning guitar and hope to pick it up again in the fall when my garden is done.
Maria said…
I've done yogurt that way many times. In the crockpot....super easy! The kefir I just strain it every few days and dump the grains back in their jars and fill with fresh milk. I am reusing the grains. Sometimes I then take the kefir and throw in some fruit and let it ferment again to get more bacteria. That makes it sweeter, too.
Anonymous said…
@Maria, thank you! I'm going to go for it! Hopefully, it'll turn-out, but if it doesn't that'll be a part of the learning process, right? ;)


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