I’m working through a half baked concept about learning. Something along the lines of the Just in Time idea.
Last week I absolutely needed a way to import a lot of records into a database. My database skills are legendary – because I have none. I created the tables in Excel and did what I should and tried to import it all into the database. It didn’t work. I tried again. I tried several different ways. Then I decided that I needed some extra help. I emailed the database programme author and over the course of a few emails and a couple of hours he updated the programme so that the data would import properly. Job done.
I was talking to a sounding board about this experience and she said to me that she would have given up at the point where the data didn’t import. I couldn’t afford to give up because I needed to import the data and I needed to get it done efficiently. Time is money and all that.
So what was the difference (tipping point?) – I needed to get the job done.
When I work with teachers and they say … I want to make a movie … I want to make a PowerPoint … I want to do Keynote … I want to learn to make a webpage … sometimes I get just a teensy bit difficult. Because if they want to learn to make a webpage, a movie, a presentation on the off chance that they might use it next term it’s not going to work. They won’t remember how to do it. Framing it inside an existing piece of work or a absolutely have to may just work but that’s not always guarranteed. To learn how to do something – to actually be able to engage with the process and really want to be able to do? it – requires a need. Is this where authenticity steps in?
People often say to me that they envy the ease with which I get around my computer. They should see me with a guitar.
About 35 years ago I
asked begged my parents for my first guitar. They got me one of those plywood half size jobs that you give to kids. I think we left it behind when we moved to New Zealand. Shift forward about six or seven years and I remember buying an ancient nylon stringed guitar through an advert in the Hawkes bay Herald Tribune. I read every book in the Hastings Library and attempted to teach myself to play the thing. I got to a D and and A7 but I could change between the two. Not with any degree of accuracy or speed anyway.
Move forward another few years and I had another el cheapo second hand guitar. I took some lessons and actually mastered a 12 bar blues progression. I could even do a B7. But those damned barre chords threw me.
I managed to get a beautiful steel stringed guitar and some of the elusive barre chords fell into place. My guitar teacher gave me quite a bit of help to get my head and fingers around some other guitar sounds and I could throw out some passable renditions of some of my favourite music.
After that beautiful guitar disappeared from my life a few years ago (left in a classroom, lifted by a stranger – I will probably never know ) I occasionaly stummed an old cheapie that floated around the house.
I bought a new acoustic electric last year and took some more lessons but I’ve never really got back to being able to play like I used to. Now I stumble my way through a set playlist, occasionally scouring the interweb for the chords for the latest radio tune. I can play just enough to amuse my self but not enough to satisfy myself.
Half baked post about Just in Time? I don’t even think this one made any where near the oven!