My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

Gardening is the experience ~ the lesson follows

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Word Press Daily Prompt What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

Among the inspirational quotes that flash across the screen at the gym are the words, ‘from experience follows the lesson’.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines experience as

  • the process of doing and seeing things and of having things happen to you
  • the skill or knowledge that you get by doing something
  • the length of time that you have spent doing something

Learning is like being on a treadmill. I read the statistics on the cardio machine screen and know my heart rate is at the recommended cardio fitness level for my age and weight. I might puff and sweat and be tempted to shorten the process but I can’t get off while the machine is in motion. Certainly not while the person on the next machine is chatty. We exchange exercising experiences. Workouts aren’t impossible if you can hold a conversation, I was told by the personal trainer. At the end of this session, I feel better that I have achieved something.

During decades of formal learning and earning, my knowledge has been gained using the skills of reading, writing, listening, discussing, maths, working with others or by myself, observing, viewing, performing and practising. Each of these skills are interrelated with the orderly critical thinking process of remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and creating. I am comfortable with the written word. I sweat it out with numerical logic.

Honestly, right now, I don’t know my preferred learning style.

Two hours later, I left off writing and got lost in my garden. This is where I think, reflect and dream and do. Worms, birds, cattle, family, hedgehogs, plants, possums, dragonflies, bumble-bees and beneficial insects are vibrant players in my world. It is natural to write about seasonal and weather events. It is natural to write about caring for the soil, about creating a carbon sink, about growing ecological diversity. Nature provides rich learning experiences everyday. It is up to me to be present. To make sense of the lessons. I observe. I respond. I make mistakes. It is in this way my garden happenss. It is always interesting to read what others have done in a similar situation. I reflect. In this way, knowledge is consolidated.

William’s Creative Higher Order Thinking elements influenced my former work with teachers and students. A lateral approach to learning is rich, recurring, productive and relevant to the learners’ own interests and challenges in everyday life. Certainly, I tend to be spontaneous,  flexible and have a willingness to try something new.

Right brain? left brain? At times I could wish to be more logical, better organised. Especially as Himself is so terribly logical and Mathematical. But then, I get there. I know what I mean.

Author: Jenny

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

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