Soon, I am heading to a writers’ conference in Millerville. Not only will I be learning from others, but also I’ll be teaching a lesson I have prepared for fellow writers. I can’t wait to go.
Continuing to learn should be an important element in everyone’s life, but I know it is not always easy to break away from our routines. However, there is only one time when I feel as if my efforts to do so were not worth the time. Once, I attended a seminar called, “accounting for dummies.” It was over my head.
However, I have, through the years, learned many new things at conferences related to such diverse topics as cooking with herbs, writing an autobiography, speedwriting, speaking Spanish (which I still cannot do but I like trying), being a more spiritual woman, how to better handle my taxes, and others.
I can list benefits from attending each of those events, and some of them I attended at least 30 years ago.
When we learn new things, life opens up new paths that we would not otherwise travel. Once a woman called me after she learned I attended a seminar in Tuscaloosa on writing. She and I became friends in the early days of email. Later, she came to visit me in Anniston, and I went to Florence to visit her. My speedwriting skill led to better job performance and helped pay my kids’ way through college. Attending the Women of Faith conferences for two years bonded me closer to the friends at my church. The benefits go on.
One of the most daring things I ever did was to tackle a master’s degree at Jacksonville State University at age 51. Scared to death, I attended my first class in English philosophy and was shocked. I had no idea what the professor was even talking about. After class, I approached him and told him I probably needed to drop out of the class. He encouraged me to stay and said he would be going into detail on every concept he had discussed that day. I was glad I listened to him. Staying, listening, studying, and learning new things led to success in my first graduate-level class. I proved to myself than an older brain could be bombarded with new challenges and still function.
Of course, we learn new things each day that we live, but there is something special about taking courses. Sometimes they are a little expensive, but oftentimes they are free. Seminars and courses can often found by visiting local libraries, the Calhoun County Extension Office, various church groups, and several government entities. So, search them out, and take a course. You’ll be glad you did.
Email to Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.