Learning Can Be Messy!


First of all, an update on my #OneWord2017, “balance”. I’m working on it and have made some progress, I’m proud to say. I am making an effort to try new things. I decided to try out a paint night with friends. You know, the ones that you hear about on Facebook where a group of women get together to have a glass of wine, a few laughs and try their hand at painting. At times it was difficult to hear our instructor as people were laughing and having a great time. It was so much fun and the interesting thing is that while everyone is painting the same picture, the results are all unique. I was apprehensive at first, I’ll admit that, but once you get started and dab some paint here and dab some more paint there, before you know it you have a painting. As a matter of fact, I liked it so much I decided to sign up for another session.

This weekend I also spent some time at the curling rink watching my son skip in a bonspiel. I remember when he was 9 and he had just started to curl. He is 17 now and will be heading off to university in September. (Don’t know how that happened, where the time went?) During the bonspiel I watched as he skipped very good games and made some great shots under pressure. It was so enjoyable to watch him play. Curling has been such a wonderful learning experience and I am so proud of him.

As I reflect on these two things, my painting experience and my son’s growth as a curler, there are so many lessons here that can be applied to life in general and to education. First of all, take risks, you’ll be happy you tried something new. When I arrived at the paint night event I remember looking at the painting sample that was on display, the one we were all, supposedly, going to try and duplicate. I turned to my friend and said, “I’m not so sure about this, how am I supposed to do that?” But you know, once you get started you see that it is doable. Just relax, don’t stress, and remember to enjoy yourself. It can be messy…I had paint up to my elbows! Learning something new usually is, but when you start to see it all come together its pretty amazing and you most certainly feel a sense of accomplishment.


With curling, I watched my kids when they were little (my daughter also started to curl when she was in Grade 4) go from barely being able to push a rock, to easily sliding off the hack while getting a rock to curl just the way they wanted. They went from developing the physical skills to developing the psychological skills. Strategically reading the game, deciding what calls to make and how to focus on a shot, take a deep breath and make it happen. Anytime we learn something new we first gain basic knowledge and skills, move forward into the understanding and application of that knowledge and then progress to critical thinking, often working with members of a team to be successful and collaborate on decisions.

You know, last year I didn’t watch my son play a full game of curling. I was always too busy with work. Here’s to continuing to make 2017 a year with more “balance”.














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