#20hrproject: A Final Reflection

#20hrprojectSo I made it to the 20 hour mark, well probably a bit more than 20 hours and as I was sketching out my last sketch for the project I was wondering what the take away was this time around. Like the #100dayproject I enjoyed the creativity and the connections but I felt there was a different lesson learned this time around. I couldn’t put my finger on it till I heard Royan Lee’s Ignite Talk on Monday night.

As much as I was taking a risk during the #100dayproject and making my learning visible, I was still working on a skill I loved with photography. I’m by no means an expert but I had figured out a few basics. This time around it was different. I was starting from scratch, including the tools & materials. There is definitely a fear attached to being a complete beginner. Standing at a starting line not sure how the race will end. I was glad that Debbie had shared the checklist from Josh Kaufmann’s book. Especially the bullet: Learn enough to self-correct. It went along with some advice from a young hand letter I follow on Instagram of just trying different things out. As I was sitting over a D one day I could hear the phrase pop in to my head. I could see that I had stepped over that start line.

There was also an element of letting go. Letting go of an image of perfection. Some nights it seemed I was erasing more than writing. I woke up one morning and realized how terrible the last post was, I felt I had to redo it. Even the last image and a wonky C made me question my post. It’s hard to let go of the swirling questions whether something is worthy enough to be posted and shared. I follow some amazing folks on Instagram and their hand lettering is gorgeous. I had to learn to not compare my point A to their point M. I had to recognize we each have our own learning paths. That doesn’t mean every like from an amazing designer didn’t build a bit more confidence in my skills (thanks for that folks).

So my take away this time around? Sometimes we need to do the things that scare us. Sometimes we need to remember what it feels like to be at a starting line without a sense of the path. Most of all I hope I remember those feelings and experiences when I sit and work with a learner who is standing at their starting line.

Maybe salsa dancing is next. Now that is definitely frightful! What is your next learning journey?

If you are interested in the journey, you can check out the curated posts HERE on Storify.


Candy, Mangia and the Mall Bench: Lessons on Community from my grandparents

I have been thinking a lot about community, trust and relationships lately and how they impact learning together. It dawned on me I had learned a few lessons from my grandparents.

When i was little my grandfather used to stash his pockets full of candy on a Sunday morning before heading to church. I wish it was for me (I may have sneaked one or two). He’d stand by the front door and use the candy as a way to entice the reluctant child, the coughing adult or the individual that just needed a little cheering up.

My grandmother was all about the food. She had her staple: pasta, tomato sauce and meatballs. She wouldn’t stop there though. If you weren’t digging the pasta, the nuts would come out. Then the cheetos followed by the cake. Whatever she could do to keep you at the table eating. My mom’s side was no different. She would put on the most elaborate spreads to entice groups to come together.

My memories of my grandfather (dad’s side this time) was always as a retired man. There was this bench outside the grocery store in the Queensway. Every day my grandfather would make his way down the block and meet his friends at the bench. They made their own piazza to meet and chat.

It may seem like the three stories above aren’t connected but as I have been thinking of community, more importantly how we build community I realized that there is always AN INVITE. Whether it was my poppy’s candy, my ma’s screams of mangia or my pa’s bench there was an invitation to engage in community.

I worry that sometimes in the routine of community, in the tweets and posts, I have forgotten the invitation to engage. It was that invitation that got me connected online, allowed me to meet great educators face to face, lead me to new learning opportunities. Someone always pulls (or pushes) you into a new community of practice. Sometime takes that risk or sacrifice to pull you in. So I’m left with the question of how am I inviting others to engage in learning together?

Time to go bake some cookies. 

Do you agree? Can you remember any invitations that made the difference in your learning? Love to hear your thoughts!