It's been a pretty stressful week one way and another.
Work's been busy, home's always busy - just getting everything done that needs to be done. Making ends meet is a constant counterpoint to whatever else is going on in my life at any given time. I may or may not be coming down with something - and to top it all off, I spent yesterday taking my son to the hospital for emergency surgery on his hand.
In the midst of all this, I'm trying to find enough spare time (and enough spare synapses) to process - and document - the thinking I'm doing about things educational.
One of the things that's becoming obvious is that it's incredibly difficult to assimilate anything new when you're already stressed. Hardly a unique or original observation, but one that's been reinforced again recently.
Timing is as important as time.
A number of years ago now I started learning Te Reo Maori. I really enjoyed it, and I have made several attempts since then to refresh and improve my ability to speak and understand it. So far I haven't got very far. I'm not sure if the reasons I can identify are genuine reasons or just rationalisations. I feel guilty, frustrated and resigned about it by turns. But the bottom line is, there's more I want to do than there are hours (or kilojoules) available to do them all, and much as I want to do it, the timing just hasn't been right yet. Meaning it hasn't got to the top of my priority list yet.
One of the lessons I've absorbed on my way through life (social conditioning) is that this really means I lack the dedication, the genuine desire to learn Te Reo, and the intellectual honesty to admit those failings. In other words, there must be someone at fault, and it must be me. However much my adult rational self may know that putting food on the table for my kids, and holding down a job, being available to my friends and family when they need my support ...you know, reality... are legitimate priorities, part of me is equally sure that the only reason for not doing something is lack of trying hard enough.
I suspect we are still teaching our kids those same unhelpful lessons.
The reality is that life does get in the way sometimes, and we do have to prioritise what we do. Sometimes all the pieces fall into place, and we can make huge strides. Not only is learning not linear, but it's not constant either. It happens in fits & starts (the 'clumpy universe' again). So why do we insist on designing learning environments and curricula for our children that behave as if they are?
3 hours ago