reader’s finds + a great, simple approach to learning

(Video link here.) The results of our “what are you reading?” post have been incredibly illuminating. Thank you so much for sharing the many great paths for us to follow from Stinky and other Toon books for kid’s, to Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace to a pile of fiction and blogs. We never would have found this video of the amazing Jessie Mae Hemphill if it weren’t for checking out the blog Logcabineer. (Dig her tambourine shoe!)

We especially liked a comment from Pippin that started: “Nothing specific, but rather a new approach.”

Inspired by a New York Times post about Jeremy Gleick’s ‘learning hour’, I wrote down a list of topics that I wanted to spend an hour exploring. Jeremy is/was a college student who started spending an hour every day reading or exploring topics unrelated to his field of study. Sometimes he would spend an hour watching a lecture video on the internet, sometimes it was learning a skill like card tricks, juggling, or becoming ambidextrous. His hour is focused on learning and not just reading a book.

So far, for me, I’ve read up on language learning techniques, the Caribbean (even learned to spell it correctly), history of Paris, and background of the Garamond typeface. Future topics: spend an hour – being blind, being paralyzed, being one-armed; history of London, Berlin, New York; explore sailing techniques; learn basic anatomy, botany, psychology; etc.

I wrote down about 60 topics right off the top of my head in about 10 minutes. Those will keep me occupied for the next couple of months…

Pippin’s idea is different than random, half-conscious surfing of the net. It reminds us a bit of the Pomodoro Technique we wrote about recently, where you focus completely on one thing for a set amount of time. It allows you to consciously engage a subject you’d like to learn – what is meaningful to YOU- and really see tangible evidence of what you are learning.

(We’d learn A LOT spending an hour being blind.)

We invite you to continue to post your interesting reads and finds in our Comments section, or send them to use directly at [email protected] This one looks interesting…


Related posts: 
what are you reading that inspires?
self-publishing your own… point of view
recharging y(our) inner batteries
‘what’s not wrong?’ and other ways to start your day
what’s in the innovator’s cookbook?
how to remember anything
six great children’s books to give as gifts 

One Response to reader’s finds + a great, simple approach to learning

  1. Cara De Silva 02.07.2012 at 9:17am #

    I love all this, but will be somewhat ornery in responding, to the question “What am I reading? Well, the man whom many consider the greatest writer in English who ever lived. Charles Dickens. Today is the Bicentennial of his birth and much of the world is celebrating (am honored to be speaking about him later this week). There is no writer from whose heart and mind and feelings about humanity I will ever learn more.

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