Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Never Too Old to Learn Something New

I have once again conned my husband into following me down the path on a new project. We are both taking a class on birding given at the local community college. There are only 5 evening classes and the teacher is a milk-toast (and I say this in the nicest of descriptions) of a little man who actually reminds me of my brother (a former teacher). Our teacher has experience banding birds and studying birds, but his background must be in something else currently.  

Only four students arrived the first evening and one of those students was his wife, so I am letting you know that there are only three students, really, with hubby and I making up two-thirds of the bulk of the discussion. Small town college stuff! The class has, therefore, become an informal meet-up allowing all of us to share our anecdotes to enhance the discussion as it moves along.  We also discovered that the teacher works just up the road from us on a nearby private preserve of several dozen acres.  We now have access to a new nearby area for exploration, within walking distance.

I am a perpetual student and love taking classes if they are more than just philosophical improve your life or spiritual growth stuff.   It has to be something more practical like science, history, literature or art.  I always did love school and my intellectual curiosity has been my passion since I was a child. I loved school.  My husband is most generous to come along on this because he has a PhD in zoology and probably could teach the class himself with a little planning. And yet after the first class and a quick field trip we both have learned to listen better when bird watching and have learned the songs of the little flycatcher and the ovenbird among others. AND most importantly while practicing what we learned, we have discovered that these two songsters exist in our yard, which we did not know.

If you have ever wandered to my other blog, you will know that it contains a number of entries on birds.  I try to study them before I post so that I can add a little knowledge about the species.  So now I can add more fact and less theory?

I encourage others to take classes of all stripes as they age.  Even if it is something you know a lot about, the world is changing, we are learning so much more and I guarantee you will learn something new.



15 comments:

Bagman and Butler said...

I am envious. I've often wanted to be able to identify birds by their songs. I have managed to get the crow down, at least.

Stephen Hayes said...

We have many interesting birds here in Portland, Oregon, and I'd like to learn more about them.

Hilary said...

What a great idea.

middle-angel said...

I do love the title and your thought.

gigihawaii said...

Good idea! By learning something new, we stave off alzheimer's.

Celia said...

Marvelous to find two birds in your realm you didn't know about.

Terri said...

This sounds like a gift to yourself that will keep on giving....

Mage said...

I have two friend who have built themselves small bird watching spots in their back yards. They go out and sit quietly with camera in hand, and they are both feeling very adventuresome. :)

Granny Annie said...

My dear father continued study and research into every subject that caught his attention almost to his dying day. His philosophy was that we will never have all the answers but we must never stop searching. It is good to be a student of life and you definitely are among those who constantly increase their knowledge. Bravo!

Anne said...

A wonderful post and I agree with every word of it. And I wish I knew more about the birds I see at my feeders and on my walks.

Anita said...

This post tells me that in your comment on my "Me Time" post, that you were not giving yourself enough credit. You seem to be quite active with interests and activities that many people would love to do. We can't do it all, but at least, we can fill our time "doing." And you do. :)

I like the story of the milk toast teacher. I'm glad it is working out for you all.

Bird watching, now, is me with binocular from my deck, and listening to them as I awake in the morning. Perhaps, I'll advance in the future. :)

Laoch of Chicago said...

Those small classes can be really wonderful.

Linda F. said...

My sister has encourage me to learn more about birds by birding, but I dont know if it is practical at my age. My sister is an expert birder, having been at it for thirty -five years. Her Boyfriend she birds with has also been birding thirty-five years. I know about 10 birds by sight, but only know 2 or 3 songs.
I think at age 62 I am way too far back from them on the learning curve. Buy the time I get as good as they are I'll be 97 years old (IF I learn as fast as a young person)(ha-ha). I think it would probably be much smarter to stick with my current hobbies of gardening, quilting, clothing design, and reading. I love watching birds, but I'm still working and would have to give up just one of my other hobbies in order to have time to spend learning at least a few more birds, and bird songs. On the other hand, my sister isn't showing any interest in sewing or quilting, which we could also do together, inside in the winter! :) Any advice? Is it too old to learn at 62? What should my realistic goals be at this time. Should I take some classes with children? What is your advice? Thanks!!! Linda

Anonymous said...

I think I might be too old to become a real birder. Wht do you think? My sister and her boyfriend have been birding for 35 years each and are experts at songs and sightings. I can't even find a cardinal in the very tree I know it's in, unless it is on an outside branch. I know some basic birds by sight, but no songs. I also work, quilt, sew clothing, do geneology and read. And there is lots to learn there too. Not sure how much my old brain can absorb, ha-ha! By the time I get good enough to enjoy it and know something as not to embarrass myself out there, I will be elderly and birding from a nursing home window. UNLESS you can help me with software I can load up to my thick skull. LOL. Unrealistic??
Any advice???? Linda

Anonymous said...

Good post Granny Annie