Classes, Camps and Learning Something New

On the Monday after vacation, we slid our suitcases back into the rafters and slipped right back into life: Rene started lacrosse camp in the mornings and volleyball camp in the evenings; I started a new fiction-writing class in the evenings and scrambled to get my “homework” done at night; Ricky tried to coordinate driving Rene back and forth to her camps; and Chris and I traded volleyball-pickup with dinner prep.

(It’s as if vacation never happened. …)

But overall, it was a fun week, despite the stress and schedule-planning — mostly because it’s always kind of exhilerating (scary, stressful, but exciting) to learn something new.

I always love taking new classes, especially in writing, because I love learning new writing techniques. There are so many cool techniques I’ve never heard of before, and I’m always stunned to learn new craft. I also get a kick out of meeting new people in the classes — I used to be the shy, quiet kid who sat in the back, but in these online classes I’m actually kind of talkative and outgoing.

And Rene — I have to really give her a hand because she’s never played lacrosse OR volleyball in her life. In fact, she’s never been particularly athletic. (This is the child for whom soccer season meant being able to match her nail polish and hair-bow to the color of the uniform.) But man, my little girl went out there with her lacrosse stick and goggles — then volleyball kneepads and Lycra shorts — and did her best. And she kept up! Despite not being terribly athletic as a youngster, she can run really well, and she has incredible stamina and strength. So she tugged on the strange gear, learned all the new moves of these two games, and — more importantly — is meeting new kids at her new high school and finding her way around. She was sooooo nervous on Monday, but we were really proud of her that she conquered her fear and went out there and met the challenge all week.

What new thing have you taken on to learn in the last year or two? Joining a new group? Starting a new job? Walking onto some kind of grassy field with strange gear and goggles? : )

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4 thoughts on “Classes, Camps and Learning Something New

  1. How about after years of running offices and departments getting a job where you are at the absolute bottom of the food chain? Last fall I started working at Port Everglades for a cruise line getting people off and then on the ship. Its a really fun job most days and now that I’m used to just doing what I’m asked to do, I love knowing that at the end of the day, the job stays at the Port. I spend the morning telling people where to go and the afternoon checking people in, kind of like checking someone into a hotel. When you see something that seems to be done absolutely the wrong way, you politely ask about it or suggest a better way, but that’s as far as the responsibility goes. Its actually very liberating. It took a bit of getting used to though.

  2. Yes, that’s a great one, Helene! Learning a whole new industry! But it’s probably such a relief for you to go into work everyday without all the stress that was part of your working life for so long, huh? Leaves your mind totally clear for other things every evening and on the weekends. Good for you! So was it weird learning a whole new industry at first? Now that you’ve done it, does it make you more curious about learning other things?

    I had to learn a new industry myself this last year, and I find that it makes me more confident/open to learning all kinds of crazy things now (even not work related). I’m even thinking about learning to line dance! 🙂

  3. My husband is getting his master’s finally for teaching, and I said I would kind of be the student for him since he is so busy. That was a whole new arena, online classes!

    He’d give me the content for the assignment, and then I’d write it up and make it sound coherent. Suddenly, after like almost 20 years of not being in school, I was looking up APA-style formatting and trying to figure out how to cite videos in a bibliography. And then participating in discussion boards in an intelligent way (because you’re graded on it) was a whole new can of worms to figure out.

    I found my over-achiever coming out, again, like one time we got a 38/40, and I was like, “What?!” What did she take off 2 points for?

    It also gave me deeper respect for my husband as a teacher; I had no idea about some of the dynamic, hands-on projects he assigned or fun things he would do in class. I thought, “Wow, he really is a good teacher, and I would have liked have been his student!” It’s been bonding, having to sit with him and discuss teaching methods and ask him what he would do for certain situations.

    Anyway, it’s definitely been a period of growth for both of us!

    P.S. My kids have started playing lacrosse, too! It’s really fun and is growing rapidly on the west coast. And Koa’s going to play tackle football this fall! Yikes! He’s been through 7 days straight of 2-1/2 hr practices and can’t get enough.

  4. Grace — Wow, having to look up APA-style formatting again would definitely be weird! But how great to challenge yourself with something new. And sometimes I think we crave that “grading” again. It’s so clear-cut, and nothing we get later in life! Funny how your inner-overachiever came stomping right back out to demand explanation of a “bad” grade, too! (38/40???) Love that you and your hubby are getting to do it all together, too.

    Go lacrosse! Yes, it’s definitely getting bigger here on the west coast. (Scholarships are to be had. …) And football for your little guy? Well, it’s not like we didn’t see that coming, given his dad and all. … 🙂

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