Friday Essay – Learn

I’m back!  In case you were keeping track, I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks and that’s because I was doing art!  I had a very small part in a friend’s show and then my burlesque company had a photo shoot!  Super fun!  But now I am back at it with a new Friday Essay.

My third theme for 2016 is LEARN.  So, I plan to learn a bunch of things.  I’ve made a list of what I’d like to learn.  A few items have the ‘how’ attached to them – dance lessons, clowning workshop, books to read.  But some of the things on my list simply require practice – burlesque, sewing, hooping.  Is that really learning? Shouldn’t ‘learning’ involve a class, curriculum, a teacher?  How is it ‘learning’ if I’m just practicing?  Is going over things I’ve already learned truly learning?  According to educators, yes, it is! (it says so in this document I found on the internet!)  Repetition is an important way to solidify learning.  Apparently, this is why teachers assign homework.  Who knew?!  And, of course this is true.  Each time I practice something it is different.  Each time I revisit a topic it is different. Some days I have to rip out every stitch I’ve sewn.  Other days I’m the queen of sewing zippers! And, I learn.  One day my yoga practice is smooth, easy, I reach some sort of enlightenment.  Another day my knee and shoulder scream with every pose, my boobs try to suffocate me and all I think about is not farting.  And, I learn.  Some days I read articles by young feminists and I am uplifted and hopeful.  Some days I read articles by First Nations women and women of colour and I am broken-hearted and challenged.  And, I learn. Some days my burlesque rehearsals are amazing – I feel free and fierce. Other times I feel like a sea lion trying to tango in the sand. And, I learn.  My parents both have backgrounds in education and psychology.  I was young when they were in school so I suspect I learned the value of education when I was little. But more importantly, my parents instilled in me curiosity, the importance of critical thinking and the skills to find answers on my own.  I’ve done a lot of formal schooling and I am now questioning its value. Which isn’t to say formal education isn’t valuable, just that right now I am interested in other forms of learning. Diving into a subject head-first and swimming in it is feeling like a very good way for me to learn right now.  Also, being open, mindful and curious are working for me. For example my burlesque persona is really growing right now and a lot of that has to do with doing new things on stage, working more closely with lots of different people and just being open to new feelings, costumes, props, music, everything! And, I am learning.  I’m at a clowning workshop this weekend at Dancing Sky Theatre just outside of town.  I was thinking about doing a bunch of reading up on various clowning techniques and methods, the history of the clown, etc. And, I did a bit of that, but I decided that, for me, the best way to approach this is to dive in head-first and see what happens!  And, I will learn!

Be Lovely To Each Other,

Laura

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