Tag Archives: learning

To look ahead

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”― Graham Greene “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ― Meister Eckhart Today is my 700th daily post, and that number rather amazes me.  Nearly two years ago, …

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Defiance of the contemporary

“A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.” – Aldo Leopold This …

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What counts

“What counts is what you learn after you know it all.” – Earl Weaver Sometimes it seems that life is one long series of reaching the top of one hill only to start all over again at the bottom of another one.  After awhile, we realize that we never stop needing to learn.  Most of …

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A natural affinity

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” — Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to tag along with a child or two.  They notice things we have forgotten …

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Another turned page

“…that old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” ― Wallace Stegner Though it …

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Not the same thing

“They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. It is not the same thing.” — Richard Yates “But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.  Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” — 1 …

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The task of the educator

“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confuse good with immobility and evil with activity…”— Maria Montessouri Any adult who interacts with a young child …

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This bequest of wings

“He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosened spirit brings!” ― Emily Dickinson If you are reading this blog, …

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Out there, waiting

“They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me…” ― Lisa Ann Sandell There’s a popular saying about never being able to step into the same river twice, presumably because the river is ever-changing.  If so, we can never …

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A vast university

“The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.”  — James Thurber People who love Paris and didn’t love school might not agree with Thurber, but I connected with his description immediately.  …

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Near the water’s edge

“Children instinctively choose to build near the water’s edge knowing that the water to sand ratio is vital, and I believe that they also know that at the end of the exercise their hard work will be reclaimed by the incoming tide. Even very young children know that they cannot take their creation home – …

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The duty to try

“I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them …

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Forever free

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass Matt taught himself to read before he started kindergarten, and throughout his elementary school years, his reading tested at several years above grade level.  Given the severity of some of his other learning challenges, including extremely deficient motor planning and poor neurological …

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Open arms

“A library should be like a pair of open arms.” ― Roger Rosenblatt “So why on earth would you take an eight-month-old baby to a library?” my mother asked me, when I told her how Matt and I had spent the previous day with Grady.  As a retired librarian who specialized in youth services, I …

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Read or learned or picked up

“One of the great joys of being a librarian is that it is the last refuge of the renaissance person — everything you have ever read or learned or picked up is likely to come in handy.” — GraceAnne DeCandido Sometimes I think the term “renaissance person” is too loosely used in the modern sense, …

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The seriousness of a child

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” — Heraclitus There’s a lot of talk about how childhood is magical and carefree, and I agree that it was (or is) a wondrous time for many of us.  Yet even with the most advantageous childhood, I think the first …

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If you look

“If you look at an illuminated manuscript, even today, it just blows your mind.  For them, without all the clutter and inputs that we have, it must have been even more extraordinary.”  — Geraldine Brooks I started reading aloud to our sons when they were babies, and kept it up nightly until they were in …

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What to do

“Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” – Susan Ertz As the warm weather fades and the cold or rainy season moves in, we’ll all be indoors more, whether we like or not. I like it. I relish the chance to spend hours at home, puttering …

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We must discover

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” — Marcel Proust As several readers have pointed out recently, we have many sources from which to seek wisdom. For people of faith, holy scriptures are primary; for all of us, other …

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The world’s best teachers

“Children and animals are the world’s best teachers– but very few adults really want to be educated.” — Ashleigh Brilliant Educators have long known that learning is optimal when the lessons are engaging and fun.  What better teachers, then, than animals and children?  I hope there are more adults wanting this sort of education than …

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In the fall

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” ― Nora Ephron I love fall because it is connected with my happiest memories of childhood.  In particular, the onset of cooler …

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Do not cease to play

“We do not cease to play because we grow old, we grow old because we cease to play.” — George Bernard Shaw Everybody who needs more fun time, raise your hands.  OK, that’s settled…we need to make more time  for play! Of course, when I say “play” I’m not talking about watching TV, or even playing “Angry …

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The answer to a great many things

“I have a feeling that in the end, probably, that training is the answer to a great many things. You can do a lot if you are properly trained, and I hope I have been.” — Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom With characteristic reserve, Queen Elizabeth II summed up her secret …

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A big journey

“Childhood isn’t just something we ‘get through.’ It’s a big journey, and it’s one we’ve all taken. Most likely, though, we’ve forgotten how much we had to learn along the way about ourselves and others.” — Fred Rogers One of the most sobering things about being around children is the realization that everything we do …

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Blinking once-sealed eyes

“I do not know what I am doing. But just like a baby bird, I am blinking once-sealed eyes and unfolding damp wings.” —Julie Gregory No matter how old we grow, life forces us to keep learning.  Sometimes it helps to re-frame even the most difficult experiences as opportunities to increase our competence, tenacity or …

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