My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden


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Winsome Boys

It’s not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six.  John W. Gardner

The next generation has gone camping – somewhere. No texts. No messages. X-Box is still at home. Son and Grandsons have not come home. Himself and I like to think they have inherited our hardy genetic predisposition to tough things out. This is a great summer holiday adventure for the Dad and his three lads. The two younger boys are delightful and winsome in their childlike excitement about the adventure.

In a few weeks, 12-year old Geeky Grandson will enter male adolescence. The Boys’ High School claims to prepare boys to become fine young men. Fine men who care, who are respectful, who take responsibility for their actions and their words, who  serve their communities with honour. This now pre-teen boy-child, fretting for his X-Box, is amusing, charming, intelligent and  pleasant. This soon-to-be teenager will follow in his two adolescent cousins’ footsteps at Boys’ High. There, he will engage with new adults and peers. His winsome ways will smooth his path through and beyond his schooldays.

His eldest cousin, 19-year old Grandson, home from his first year at university, is showing the way of having perfected the craft of crashing onto the couch, asleep after a hard night out. Another charming teenager  in the here-and-now cruise control mode. Family matters. Mates matter more. Social scene matters very much. His academic break job is a necessity to keep his car fuelled and as in the way of living life to the fullest. For now, his Dad, Number 1 Son, and Daughter-in-law are accommodating their young man-boy with the echoes of childlike charm and his engaging winsome ways.    

 


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Gardening is the experience ~ the lesson follows

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.