Entry for Living Out Loud Volume 25, Always Learning
In this new age of technology, it seems that whenever I want to learn something new I must first disregard any information I have on the subject. I have to dump all previous knowledge in order to process the new because it usually no longer pertains. Much is done in newer, faster, and more interesting ways.
Even something as simple as driving has changed…seriously. When I took drivers education (many eons ago), hand positions on the steering wheel were 10 and 2. Due to the possibility of breaking ones wrists when the air bags explode, it was changed to 9 and 3 when my kids took drivers ed. For all I know, it might have even changed again.
Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to unlearn something? It’s akin to brainwashing. I don’t know about you, but the more I try to forget something the more I think about it. I always consider how every bit of new information I take in will correlate with what I already know. I have a difficult time starting fresh when it concerns an area that I feel I am somewhat educated. I am only comfortable in learning shortcuts if it feels like a familiar process.
I once thought it would be fun to learn to play a ukulele. Not because I have a single musical bone in my body, but simply because I thought it was a cute miniature guitar. I soon got over the urge.
I’ve considered learning pottery or stained glass. While I think it would be fun, and I do love creating things, I would probably end up cluttering my house with useless objects.
And yes, I’ve always wanted to dance. Since I look like the energizer bunny on crack, I’d probably flunk dance class. I could try clogging, but I’d probably hurt someone or myself.
While I’m always up for learning new things, there are only two that really have captured my interest lately. The first I’d like to learn is how to renovate my kitchen cabinets. I don’t want to have them replaced because they generally use laminates. I have solid wood cabinets that are currently inflicted with water stain. I realize attempting this will require power tools…and most likely a visit to the emergency room. Good thing I have both AFLAC and homeowners insurance!
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit the second thing I’d like to learn because it’s rather shocking that I am not knowledgeable in this area. I need to learn how to create a spreadsheet on my computer. Yes, I know how to use one that is in existence, but I have no idea how to set the cells in the columns (are those even the correct terms?) to create one from scratch. And yes, my home business requires these for my year end taxes. Thus, I must depend on my hubby to recreate it for me. Yes, he could teach me, but he gets aggravated at me which in turn makes me aggravated at him, kind of an endless cycle. I think I might just get off my rump and sign up for a computer class at the local adult learning center. It seems that as soon as I learn how to do something on my computer, a new program comes along and all my newly acquired knowledge becomes obsolete. The bright side of learning to create a spreadsheet is that I don’t have to unlearn anything because I know nothing!
And then of course, there are the things that I have taught myself only to find out later that I’m doing it all wrong. I have taught myself to bead, needle punch, and crochet. I am a self-taught quiter. I’m not great but I get by. I usually give credit to my wonderful sewing machine. However….You see my husband bought me an incredibly smart (and expensive) computerized machine nine years ago. Did I bother to read the manual? Well, I might or might not have, I plead the fifth. Let’s just say I’ve made incredible things with it, but have had diffiuclties at times. Yesterday, I decided to start another art quilt. I pulled out my quilting foot, and decided to read the instructions since I’d had difficulty using it in the past. I learned you’re supposed to lower the feed dog when using it. Hmm, who knew the feed dog could be lowered? Obviously not me! Wow, could that be why the stitches kept clumping and puckering when I used it? I read on. Seems I’m supposed to lower the good old feed dog when using the button holer. Could it be that my buttonholer actually does indeed work? I deemed it useless years ago! Also seems I was supposed to use a different spool holder when using metallic thread. Gee, I thought my machine just didn’t like me! I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I actually read the manual after nine years, and even though I knew the gist of the machine, I now have to scrap most of the knowledge I’d carried over from my old machine. So last night, I started a new art quilt. With my machine manual right beside me! I am learning the fine art of “unlearning” and “relearning”.
Oh yeah, I’ll get back to that spread sheet…just as soon as I finish fighting with the feed dog.