Aspiring to be a lifelong learner

On a Positive Note ...

The older I get, the more important I think learning is to being a well-rounded citizen of the world. Especially, in this day and age of “fake” or “alternative” news, one must be careful where that knowledge originates.

Think about how times have changed since the 1960s or 1970s. I’ll bet there are some people who’ve never used a library card catalogue to look up information.  Now, it seems that information is available at the touch of finger on a smart phone. Whether it’s Google or Alexa or Siri, questions are answered almost as quickly as they are asked.

But I think some information is not so easily passed on by technology. Somethings are better passed along in person.

I found that to be especially true when I recently took a class with Legacy Learning. It was all about the old art of rug making. I’m not sure Google could have demonstrated the techniques we learned that day. Having a living, breathing teacher and several helpers made the learning curve not quite so steep for most of the people in the class.

And frankly, there’s something quite satisfying about learning with others and helping each other master a skill or a concept.  I’m several decades removed from my last classroom experience but I managed to reconnect with inner student that day.

I’ve had another learning experience going on for most of the summer. I was fortunate to be accepted into the Leo Mores Newspaper Leadership Institute through the Iowa Newspaper Association. Along with eight other newspaper professionals — some from the editorial side of things and some from the marketing/advertising side. We traveled to a variety of cities across the state to learn about many different aspects of the newspaper industry. The sessions took us to Des Moines, Harlan, Fairfield, Iowa Falls and Waterloo.

I have to admit a couple of us may have skewed the median age a bit, but working with these very bright and eager learners was exhilarating. The best part was the networking that took place.

Any time there was a break, you would find little clusters of people grouped together to talk about common challenges or maybe sharing about some project or promotion that worked really well for a publication.

The last session was Friday, but I doubt that will be the last I see of those folks. When I got home that night, I had a few Facebook friend requests and some LinkedIn connection requests waiting for me.

I love learning new things, whether it’s some crafty skill or something that helps me in my career. Lifelong learning is something we should all work to achieve.