I sit here in a quiet airport, awaiting departure to Boston, savoring an iced coffee, as I catch up on the homework assignments for this upcoming weeklong institute at Harvard. I love my leisure days of summer, my fluff reading, People magazines, browsing/shopping….and yet secretly, I am quite content being a learner…reading non-fiction, taking classes, connecting with people far brighter than I am–who teach me new things. I do not see myself as an “intellectual,” but rather a “learner.” There is a choosiness to the topics that inspire me. In fact, there are several things I have not taken the time to learn, because I know my husband has things covered in those areas, so I can save brain space for the topics of MY choosing! I can get lost on the Internet for hours, surfing through people’s stories and life experiences. Learning about family dynamics, relationships, other cultures, traditions, cooking, issues of faith…now those are the items of interest that top my list. And of course…education. The interesting concepts and strategies used to build creative, independent thinkers are the thoughts that keep me awake at night. I know, nerd alert, huh?
So my bags are packed with fun summer workshop attire (cuz that is important too! Lame…I know. At least I can acknowledge my issues!) as well as a pair of running shoes to help me get a bit of exercise with the sunrise, before sitting in class all day…a laptop, an iPad, paper, pens and books. I have downloaded interesting reading into my Pocket app (thanks Annie!)
The learning this week focuses on Universal Design for Learning, which involves differentiation of presentation, engagement, and product, creating an interesting and engaging educational experience for all learners. The task will be to soak it all in….and then twist and turn this knowledge into applicable practices that can be shared and presented to colleagues back home. Daunting? Yes. Doable? I hope so.
In the midst of this learning, I desire to balance it out through great conversations with my traveling pals, some fun food excursions (already drooling in anticipation of almond nougat from Modern Pastry in the North End…and a lobster roll, somewhere along the water,) crawling into bed early with my summer book club selection- Beautiful Ruins and a little Face Time with my fam back home.
Happy to be a learner. Happy to have summer days for digging into data and research. Yippee!