Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Learning New Tricks 1

Remember that old saying, “Old dogs can’t learn new tricks?” Now that science says older people should be learning new things in order to keep their mind sharp, this ‘old dog’ is determined to learn new tricks. Even if I’m not a ‘spring chicken’ anymore.
Happily, there are plenty of opportunities to learn new things, ranging from free to costing quite a lot.
FREE - Tandy Leather offers free lessons in working with leather, from beginning to advanced. Generally, these lessons are offered on Saturdays for 5-6 weeks. I am in the middle of my 3rd class with them, learning to lace and sew leather projects. Usually, I come out of these sessions with 1 (maybe 2) projects done, but there are a lot of different lacing techniques to learn, so I am keeping my projects small and otherwise unadorned (no carving or stamping), and I am finishing one project a week.
A couple months ago, I discovered dospace, located in Omaha at 72 & Dodge. They offer crash courses in various computer programs. Afterwards, you can go in at any time (that they’re open) and use one of their (many) computers to practice and do projects in that program, so you don’t actually have to run out and buy it. I’ve taken 3 classes from them, and try to get there for a couple hours each week to practice on the programs we don’t have.
YouTube offers lots of instructive videos. We’ve watched many on using particular types of materials for specific pieces of costumes or props, and more on makeup techniques.
Company websites sometimes have instructional videos to show you how to use their products. Smoothon, for instance, will show you how to make molds, and how to use those molds to cast items in resin. Hubby really enjoys doing that, and that’s how he learned the method.
Television is a relatively ancient method of learning, but still an active teacher. I think the best (easiest) to learn from tv are cooking and sewing. There are other opportunities, such as doing a mosaic tabletop with pieces of broken china or tiny glass tiles, but too often, you get 1 or 2 10-15 second shots of some of the steps in doing that, with verbal instructions for the entire process delivered at 90 miles per hour. That has never been enough ‘learning’ for me to actually try it, although it is for other people.
Of course, you might get a book from the local library to teach you how to do whatever you have a hankering to learn.

Hmmm. I’m running out of room, and I haven’t even gotten to some of the learning opportunities that cost money. And actually, I intended to write about the different ways people learn, but I’ve wandered quite a ways from that topic. Okay, then, this is Part 1 of “Learning New Tricks”. Stay tuned for future parts, one of which may or may not show up next week. It all depends on if I find some other fascinating subject to talk about before then.

No comments:

Post a Comment