Monday, July 25, 2011

L is for Learning

Where I lived for 3 years
I went to college for the first time in 1994. I went to a small, all-women's Catholic university - it is a prominent school and very strict in the curriculum. The school was not kidding when it came to churning out highly educated women, ready to take the world by the horns and make it their own. The women there are free-thinkers, critical thinkers, and well-rounded.

The classes were small, approximately 5-15 in the classroom, 50-75 per graduating class. It was a difficult school to go to and a lot was expected of you, but it was fun. I can say I am blessed to have been a part of the entire experience there and am a better person for it. While I did not graduate, not because of curriculum - it was matters of the heart, I feel forever connected to this school and everything I learned there.

But what does this have to do with crochet, you ask?


Freshman orientation left us going from building to building, finishing up in a large room with Sister Barbara, the President of the university standing in front of us. She explained that the school was not about taking our money or churning us through - we were more than just a number. She went on about how education is more than a grade. She expected us to be involved and social. A person who makes all As with no social life is a person who will not be successful. She did not want us to lock ourselves up and bury our faces in a book. She wanted us to experience life.

Ok, Cris... but what does all this have to do with crochet???

I remember her speech as if it were yesterday - the Woods was not going to teach us everything we needed to know about our field of study. What the Woods would teach us is how to continue learning throughout our lives. Learning how to learn is what would make us successful in life. Learning to learn will ensure we are capable of learning new things no matter where we are in life.

She could not have been more right. I have remembered those words since she spoke them. I knew from that moment, I would love my experiences at that school and knew that each one would play into my life somehow, with those words as the theme.

And I do think something like crochet gives a person an opportunity to learn how to do something. In addition to this, learning a craft gives you the curiosity to continue learning more about it and in most cases, like crochet, there truly is no end.

Learning... what does it mean to crochet? Boy oh boy, what DOES it mean?

First, a person wanting to learn crochet must learn how to hold the hook, learn how to hold the feed yarn with their tension hand, and learn some basic stitches like single crochet and double crochet. This is the technicals - what they also must learn is patience in that their first try will most likely not go so well. Heck, their second and third attempt will probably stink as well.

Ok - that's obvious.... but what else?

As time goes on and the person learns the basics and masters them, quickly I'm sure, then he or she must continue to learn but what they learn is up to them. Some may want to go in the direction of traditional crochet while another wants to learn thread crochet. Someone else may want to learn tunisian crochet while their best friend wants to learn how to do a graphghan. Their neighbor may want to learn to knit while the person down the street and one block over wants to learn interlocking crochet.....

You get my point, yes?

There's a lot to learn and I'm still learning every day. Right now I'm in the throws of teaching myself to be a more advanced knitter (beyond the knit stitch is what I mean by more advanced) and working on designing some patterns of my own, regardless of how simple they really are.

This post is part of the ABC meme created by An Accidental Knitter. If you are interested in reading more posts for the letter L or participating, follow this link.


Sharon (witchyknits) said...

The Sisters must be very proud of you for all that you've taken away from them!  I too went to a small all girl Catholic College (which was funny since I'm Jewish!).  Keep on learning through life - it is a never ending process!!

Cris said...

HA! - that is funny :) I'm not Catholic either. Independent Baptist here (which makes for interesting conversation on campus hehehe).

florencefrazier2002 said...

My step dad always told me if you ever stop learning, then you are dead.  We learn so much throughout our lives from the minute to the ......  Very thought provoking!

Natalie Howells said...

That sounds like a fantastic lesson to take away, more so than anything on the curriculum. I love learning, and I love hearing about schools/colleges teaching something that isn't in a book but that applies to life. Very cool :)

CrochetBlogger said...

I definitely get your point. And it's a great one. Very thoughtful post.

gogetzm said...

I often tell people I can teach you how to knit a scarf in 5 minutes but to teach you how to crochet that takes a little more time and patients!

Charlotte said...

Man I wish I was in that class! What a great way to look at learning...

And I totally agree, learning to crochet (which I'm still yet to do) or knit is a definite learning experience, not only do you learn a new craft but when you finally branch out to creating your own designs, you learn to look at things differently to help you get new ideas for patterns. 

Kat said...

You are so right Cris. :o)

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