I hope to be in awe of learning my whole life, how about you? There are so many things new to learn and discover. We get complacent in life so easily and miss opportunities. I hope to feel as excited as my Granddaughter is to learn something new. Seeing places through her eyes is like seeing them again for the first time. I never enjoyed the Mystic Aquarium www.mysticaquarium.org as much as when we took her there. To see the wonder and delight at each new tank and sensation was to learn again as I did as a child.
I worry how we are turning that natural love of learning off. Why doesn’t it stay with us. How do we reignite the love of learning. I got mine going again through my desire to be a storyteller. I am constantly seizing learning moments. They abound when we are open to them. The more I learn the more alive I feel!
I am a non- traditional learner and outside the box thinker, and I now know that it is a really good thing to be. It was not always accepted in school, they like everyone to do it the same way and are geared to education for the masses. We are all unique but that is hard to address in the public education scenario. I will continue to seek the off beat educational opportunity and draw my granddaughter to those unique experiences every chance I get.
I was visiting her last year and we went to a Civil War Museum. The guide looked less than thrilled when we joined a group going on a tour of the buildings because we had a baby with us. I was anxious to see and hear about this portion of the Civil War and the signing of surrender of the Army of the Confederacy at Bennett Place. www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/bennett I assured them I would make sure the one year old would not interfere with the groups ability to listen and would step away if she fussed. I got a look of skepticism from the guide. Off we went down the dirt road and I pointed things out to my Granddaughters along the way. I stayed to the edge ready to distract her if the need arose and yet listening intently to the guides interesting dialog of the surrender. I asked a couple of questions. My granddaughter stared into my face each time I spoke. We went into the tiny house where the actual surrender was signed. A three room cottage, quarters were cramped. A small bed chamber was roped off around the corner I could barely see but again kept the respectful distance so she not disturb any of the guests on the tour. The guide spoke at length about the time of surrender and pointed out a couple of interesting items in the room and many of the group leaned in to see. I stayed back. They all backed away and continued to listen. At that moment my Granddaughter leaned way out from my arms and craned her tiny neck to peer with interest into the small bed chamber. I answered her physical request by stepping closer to the door and telling her softly, ” See then old style bed and crib. What an interesting room.” She looked it all over with interest and looked back at me. “It’s a nice museum and very important things happened here,” I told her. She was content and listening the whole time. That was when I noticed a look on all the guests faces, awe that the baby was interested, and maybe that I took hold of the teaching moment. I hope that they all greet every tour with a baby on it in the future as a learning moment for all.
I am so glad that by age one she had been to a museum and had seen how to be interested in a historic site. I hope I can give her my love of history and all the common people’s stories that make the rich fabric of historical story. Historical story is by far my favorite genre. You can see more about that at my website www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com
I want to be sure that I introduce her to many wonderful places. I can’t wait for her to be old enough to attend a storytelling festival and share all those learning moments with me. Someday I will take her to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tn.
There together we will share some awesome learning moments through story.