Tuesday, July 29, 2014

curiosity killed the cat... or wait - maybe not

I ran across this TED talk last night and that really resonated with me.  Here are a few key points:
  • Curiosity is good and leads to questions
  • Questions are good and lead to a search for answers
  • Questions should come first then instruction vs. lecture then questions

the talk is only 6 minutes long - I would highly recommend checking it out

OK so I know I am a total dork - but I have been thinking about this subject from several different angles: 

  1. My husband has a research lab and remarks that his students that do well are the ones that are able to think of questions about the process and then go out to search for the answers. I wonder if this is a skill that can be taught? How do you encourage this behavior or get someone to do it on their own when it is not an inherent skill?
  2. My 17 year old nephew is staying with me for the summer and I am not sure how to encourage the "curious learner" style.  I have tried all sorts of things like introducing Kahn Academy video learning, talking about grant opportunities (asking him to research), and asking open ended questions about what he wants to do after high school and how he might go about making it happen.
  3. Personally this relates to my own search for what's next.  I am constantly going down rabbit holes searching for more information on my chosen subject (knitting, personal finance, blogging!)  But then I question myself and wonder - am I spending too much time on the wrong thing? Am I looking in the wrong place?  The path is not always obvious....

Have you ever gone down a rabbit hole fueled with curiosity? What did you find? :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

bringing a hobby back to life

I am about to dabble in something that I have been waiting years for....

Painting (I know you were probably expecting something more exciting like rock climbing or bread making or traveling or politics (just kidding))  

I am by no means an expert at painting but would love to do something artistic every now and then.  I find a lot of excuses not to:

  • too much time to set up
  • would be expensive to buy all the materials
  • my two boys would make a mess with all the supplies
  • whatever I paint would come out looking amateurish*

I have not seriously painted since college and I am excited to be taking a painting class next week for 3 days in a row.  I promise you this will be no masterpiece and I may not even finish it since one of the days will just be sketching.  The good news is - no matter how horrible this experiment comes out I plan to hang the picture someplace in the house..... room choice will depend on success of the finished product.  If it is horrible - it will hang in the guest bedroom, if it is good, it could hang in the hallway, and if it is great then maybe the dining room (where most people hang out when we entertain.)

The most exciting part of this painting class is that hopefully it will remind me how much I like to paint and draw - this could be the kick in the butt I need to just stop making excuses.  There is no time like the present to focus on what you enjoy and expand your skillset. 

Just for kicks I wanted to share one of the few things I have kept from my Art minor.  I did this drawing in a nude pencil class and it has survived a marriage, two kids, three states, and 10 houses.... come to think of it - that is pretty amazing :)

*is that a word?

You tell me, what hobby have you been thinking about starting or rekindling? Have you procrastinated doing something you love?