I've had quite a mixture of feelings this week as all my nieces head back to school and Robbie prepares to start the fall semester next Monday, continuing work on his master's degree. In some ways, I'm missing all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for classes - either ones I'm taking or ones I'm teaching. Since completing my master's degree four years ago and taking the past three years off from teaching, I'm no longer really involved in the Back-to-School rush. Sometimes I miss being a part of all the excitement of the first day of school - new books, new clothes, new friends, and all the new learning! Of course, there are many aspects of back-to-school that I don't miss - having to get up at the crack of dawn, lunch duty, learning all the new students' names, lesson plans, research, the price of new textbooks.
As I was pondering these mixed feelings, I realized that regardless of my "school status", I am after all a Lifelong Learner. I believe we never stop learning and that we should contine to actively pursue learning throughout our lives. Here's what I'm doing to continue learning as everyone heads back to school this year:
1. Recommitting to daily Bible reading. Over the past couple of months, I've slacked off on my Bible reading, some weeks reading five or six days, some weeks only a day or two. I want to continually seek God's will for my life, and I believe His Word speaks to each of us . . . . if we will just open it and read it.
2. Learning the new updated versions of several software programs! This week I purchased a new computer and will have to learn all the nuances of Windows 7 and Office 2010. Since I was still using the "old" Office programs, I am at the beginning of the learning curve with these new programs. Gone are the simple days of Menu Bars and Drop Down Menus! I'm also still learning photo editing techniques using Photoshop Elements.
3. I will continue to meet with our local library's bookclub, reading and discussing a new book each month. Many times the books we read are ones that I probably would not have picked out for myself, but I have enjoyed most of them and often learn something new. For example, last year we read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is set on Guernsey Island during World War II. I do not remember ever hearing of this island before and actually did a little research about it after reading the book. It was the only British land occupied by Germany during the war.
4. In a couple of weeks, I will also begin attending a new Ladies Bible Study. This fall we will be using the book Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss for our study and discussion.
5. And, of course, I will continue to learn new scrapbooking and cardmaking techniques! In fact, there are still several new techniques that were introduced in some of the online classes I've "completed" that I have not tried. I am hoping to go back through the material from several of the classes over the next few months and try some of the new techniques and layouts that I didn't have time for the first time through.
With all this new learning to keep me busy, I guess it's a good thing I'm not starting school after all!