Becoming an online learner: Some thoughts on the journey

1 How can we deal with deadlines?

Just take it bird by bird.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

Do the dirty work first.

Then enjoy the rewards.

2 What should we do first in the morning?

Write three morning pages.

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,
done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–
they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about
anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes
only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and
synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put
three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

3 Why should we read?

Because to read is to live.

You can read modern love stories: You may want to marry my husband.

No wonder the word cancer and cancel look so similar.

This is when we entered what I came to think of as Plan “Be,” existing only in the present. As for the future, allow me to introduce you to the gentleman of this article, Jason Brian Rosenthal.

[. . . ]

He is a sharp dresser. Our young adult sons, Justin and Miles, often borrow his clothes. Those who know him — or just happen to glance down at the gap between his dress slacks and dress shoes — know that he has a flair for fabulous socks. He is fit and enjoys keeping in shape.

If our home could speak, it would add that Jason is uncannily handy. On the subject of food — man, can he cook. After a long day, there is no sweeter joy than seeing him walk in the door, plop a grocery bag down on the counter, and woo me with olives and some yummy cheese he has procured before he gets to work on the evening’s meal.

Jason loves listening to live music; it’s our favorite thing to do together. I should also add that our 19-year-old daughter, Paris, would rather go to a concert with him than anyone else.

You can read what you play.

4 What should you do after the course ends?

Think beyond: Be a creator!

To reap the long-term benefit of completing Listening-Speaking assignments, create your YouTube channel. Check a student vlog link.

To reap the long-term benefit of completing Reading-Writing assignments, create your writing blog. Check a student blog post link.

5 Ask a lot of question.

Why should you ask?

Because teachers make mistakes. Can you spot the mistake in the advice above? 🙂

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