Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Eclectic Ramble

This is my first attempt to use Blogspot's HELLO system to post a photo. Previously, I have posted photos on my own website and just called them up into my blog. You can insert them into the flow of your comments that way, but I think I could do it using this system too ... with a little patience and practice. In HELLO, I began to type a caption but, mistakenly, hit ENTER to start a new line. I didn't realize that ENTER would actually publish the photo. However, I am able to EDIT the blog in the normal fashion, which is what I am doing now. HELLO just gives me another option. This HELLO system would probably be the best option for most people, and I think that I might use it more and more too.

This photo shows the sparrow and birdhouse which were mentioned in my previous blog. I finally got around to taking a photo when we were sitting outside having lunch the other day. However, the birdhouse is not really in the lovely setting that you are seeing; it is actually stationed in front of a rather drab fence where it remains. I only moved it digitally, in this photo, to another part of the yard, and I am much happier with the amended version.

It's nice to take photos again, even a few. For the past few weeks, I have been consumed with arranging and printing wedding photos and have been seriously neglecting my camera. While doing the wedding album, I upgraded to the most recent version of Photoshop which involved a bit of a learning curve. In the course of all of this, I also realized that my basic Photoshop skills have been rusting out. So, I bought a new instructional book and have been working through it, reminding myself of various tools and methods and learning some new ones.

Learning is such fun — so satisfying. I wish that I had known that all of the way through school. I was a typical under-achiever: too obtuse to know any better. I could have loved school and embraced it rather than disliking it and eschewing it.

I can remember a brief interlude when I came to my senses and participated in one particular subject for a while. My marks shot up dramatically: not because I studied harder but simply because I engaged my brain during class and learned naturally, without really trying. What happened what that I was sitting in class one day and was moved to put up my hand to answer a question — uncharacteristic behaviour indeed. Somehow, that activated me and my tiny brain. I soon answered another question, and it got to be a habit — in one class for a certain period of time, that is.

I actually had fun being proactive in that class, but I didn't realize it at the time, didn't apply it to any other subjects, and didn't even continue my new behaviour in that or any other subject in subsequent years. What a waste!

Although I must take responsibility for my own stupidity, I think my parents were deeply implicated in this unfortunate scenario. I can remember being sent off to school with negative comments ringing in my ears: "Oh, they'll make you tow the line," or "You're in for it now." I really don't recall the exact words any more, but I know that those kinds of comments affected my attitude toward school and learning. They were probably made flippantly in a teasing sort of way, but I think they impacted my approach to school and life for a long period of time.

Somehow, I ended up in university where I became a decent student, but I regret not waking up to the joy of proactive learning earlier in my life. It's never too late, but you can't turn back the clock and redeem lost time either.

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