Masterclass

It’s not like I’m doing anything with my spare time.

I’ve certainly watched my fair share of movies and TV shows since sheltering in place began.

I really want to buy a Masterclass pass.

Masterclass, as in the app that connects interested students with experts in their field for a one time “course.”

Malcolm Gladwell teaching writing.

Judd Apatow teaching a comedy class.

Annie Leibovitz teaching photography.

It’s not like I’m going to become an expert in those fields, but it does occur to me that by signing up and taking these classes I could become a more well-rounded individual.

Perhaps even develop another hobby or two.

Because what we really need in the middle of a pandemic is a robust collection of hobbies to pass the time.

I’m so there.

Thievery

I steal a lot.

And I steal from my friends and family.

Personally, I think you’re a dope if you don’t steal a little bit of the people you love and take it with you wherever you go.

It’s one of the great pleasures of life, to be able to learn new things from other people and have those skills, memories and passions continue on.

Jay taught me appreciation for craft beer and craft cocktails.

My heart skips a beat when I see a great cocktail menu.

And, I simply can’t listen to any Christmas music without thinking of him.

I’m glad a part of him stuck with me even after we split.

Steve taught me Highland Games sports.

My ability to throw a caber I owe completely to him.

And, of course, he was with me when I bought my truck so every time I see my truck I think of him and his massive chest and muscular legs fitting inside that truck when we took it for a test drive.

I stole from Charlie The Aussie as well.

I took his Australian sense of adventure and incorporated that into my blog – doing everything from going to Burning Man to running with the bulls.

I’m pretty sure he’s the entire reason why I ran a half marathon in Big Sur in 2010 and raised $5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House at Packard Children’s Hospital.

I could go on and on about The Swede.

Because of him I can say “I love you” in Swedish.

And I simply can’t eat spicy food without remembering the time he fed me a spicy chocolate truffle which had me hanging my tongue under the faucet.

He also taught me passion for hockey, and though I seldom attend games I enjoy watching the Sharks play on TV and I remember watching The Swede’s talented daughter playing goalie when I was visiting in Sweden.

But by and large, the man who challenged me the most when it comes to learning about another person’s passions is The Professor.

He taught me that accepting the status quo is tantamount to stagnation.

He encouraged me to test my edges and learn new things about myself, not just him.

And without giving too much away, I simply can’t look at Machu Picchu without thinking about him and all his adventurous world travels.

In the end, these are the pieces that are left behind with me when relationships end and I move on.

I think it’s great to hold on to the positive and forget the negative.

We are shaped by the relationships that we forge and I for one am really happy with how things have turned out, even if I’ve been turned into an adventurous, traveling cocktail snob with non-mainstream relationship goals.

Lifelong Learning

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I just signed up for a cooking class at Draeger’s in Menlo Park.

I will be learning to prepare a French meal.

It’s something I’ve never done before and I’m excited to be taking a class to learn something new.

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I am a big believer in lifelong learning – whether as a lay person or as an actual student.  The is always room for more knowledge.

What is my Field Guide to lifelong learning?

  1. Question Everything – don’t take your truths for granted, understand them for yourself.  Get your butcher to talk about meats.  Get your friend talking about his/her creative process.  The important thing is to stay curious.  Seek. Ask. Find.
  2. Map Your Route – devise a plan to keep you from going astray.  Creating ritual will give a pleasant rhythm to your learning and your life.
  3. Keep a Field Notebook – a notebook will make you a more attuned pupil.  The words will shape the narrative of you life. [Why do you think I blog?]
  4. Take Flight – We can’t give equal attention to everything so choose wisely.  Drop a book the minute it becomes boring or useless.  Skim.  Skip.
  5. Dive to the Depths – depth gives knowledge dimension.  Lose yourself in what you’re studying and come out a more astute, more human you.

So there you have it, my Field Guide to Lifelong Learning.

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