Keep On Learning

Hey, there! How many people saw the total eclipse? I am soooo jealous!

Pennsylvania was nowhere near where I ‘should’ have been but one of the teachers bought a couple of dozen pairs of glasses and handed them out. We got to see ‘something’.

However, I understand being able to see totality is AMAZING. Hopefully I will see it before I die…or go blind, or run out of money, or whatever.

One more thing for the bucket list.  To use another old saying, my eyes have always been bigger than my belly when it comes to cool experiences. The list never gets smaller.

Looking around at the people who stood outside and passed around a couple of pairs of eclipse glasses, I realized I was looking at the intellectually curious among us. Intellectual curiosity is a desire to KNOW. It is a good trait because it leads to growth. Huffington Post says intellectual curiosity correlates with happiness. We should all be intellectually curious, happy people!

There are articles about fostering intellectual curiosity in visually impaired kids. After all, they cannot see the glories of the world and be enticed. We want them to want to learn and explore.

I could not find much of anything on fostering learning and intellectual curiosity in the visually impaired elderly. What I did find was reference after reference to the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) and Road Scholar.

They sound rather interesting. ILR seem to be located on a number of university campuses – of course, not here! I need to talk to someone about all these gaps – but a lot of the biggies, like Harvard and MIT, and even some of the not so biggies, like Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Their programs cover a wide range of subjects and are for a fee.

Road Scholar is just what it sounds like. (Unless you thought it was studying maps and/or pavement, in which case you have a very interesting mind!) They take educational trips. This is obviously a for fee program.

I know nothing about either of these. Just offering them up as things to explore if you are interested in furthering your education for fun and/or profit.

Come October my friend has me taking a four evening, continuing education class on the first – which number was Calvin Coolidge? – 30 presidents. Nothing I would have chosen on my own, but it is four evenings out and I might learn something. Like Coolidge was the 30th president! Never say we are not educational.

The point of the previous paragraph being this: local educational institutions in your area may also have continuing education courses for a small fee.

Even a small fee not in the budget? This may be my find for the day: Open Culture. We are talking free, gratis, no charge.  They advertise 1,250 online courses plus audiobooks, movies AND language lessons. You want to learn how to find the restroom in Mali or Ethiopia? This site will tell you what to say. Very cool.

One more way to keep us all engaged in life in spite of our visual impairment. Be curious. Explore whenever and wherever you can. Who knows? Someday you too may be able to ask for the restroom in ten different languages. What? May be an important skill, ya know?

written August 22, 2017

Next: Keep Your Heads

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