Lifelong Learning

I discovered 10 on the 10th last month, but didn’t feel like joining in at the time. Yesterday, a new edition went live and the topic is lifelong learning in honor of back-to-school season. I’m joining in today, as I loved the questions. Here goes.

1. How old were you when you started school? Did you attend pre-kinder and/or kinder or go straight into first grade?
I started in preschool at age three and in Kindergarten at age four. Here in the Netherlands, Kindergarten takes two years, although the first year (when children are four) wasn’t mandatory back in my day. It is now.

2. Were you a good student? What was your favorite subject?
In terms of academic performance, I was above-average in most subjects once I was properly educated. I added that last bit because, at my first special education school for the visually impaired, where I attended first till third grade, I was a little behind in reading and writing due to several factors. These included poor teaching and the fact that I didn’t start learning Braille till second grade, so had to pretty much start over learning to read and write then.

In terms of behavior, I did okay. I am autistic (undiagnosed at the time), so I did have my challenges, but I wasn’t the type to stir up trouble in school on purpose.

My favorite subject was math for most of elementary school and my first year in secondary school. Then, once I was mainstreamed at a high level high school and math became one of my hardest subjects, I started to like languages more. At the end of secondary school, my favorite subject was English.

3. As a child, did you take music lessons? Or play a sport? Do you still play an instrument now?
No, not at all! Contrary to the stereotype of blind people, I’m not musically-talented at all. Neither am I good at sports. I did attend a children’s choir for some years though, but mostly just hummed along.

4. Did you attend any kind of training or classes beyond high school? If so, what did you study? Did you wind up working in a profession or job for which those classes or training prepared you?
I went to college for one year to study applied psychology and to university for two months to study linguistics. I did get my foundation (first year certificate) in applied psychology, but didn’t get any credits in the linguistics program. Oh, I did take some classes at Open University (psychology once again) in 2009. I don’t need any education for what I do now (day activities for the disabled).

5. Have you taken any personal growth or adult education classes for fun? During the year that was Covid, did you home school, learn a new app to work from home, teach yourself to do something you might have paid someone else to do for you?
Uhm, not really. I am mostly self-taught where it comes to crafts and stuff. I would really like to take some classes in maybe crafting or writing someday, but not sure.

6. What would you like to learn how to do that you don’t know how to do already?
Right now, obviously I’d like to learn more crafting techniques, particularly polymer clay.

7. Name something that you learned easily. Then name something that was a struggle for you to learn to do.
As a child, reading print came easily to me. I taught myself to read at about age five. Reading Braille, on the other hand, was a struggle, mostly because I didn’t accept the fact that I was going blind.

8. What’s the last thing you remember learning? What kind of learner are you: visual, auditory, hands-on/kinesthetic, verbal, logical/mathematical?
The last thing I learned was moving a polymer clay slab from the work surface without distorting its shape (too much). I am probably a mix of a kinetic/hands-on and a verbal learner. I don’t do well with spoken instructions though. Rather, I need to read them.

9. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks, school of hard knocks, pass with flying colors, learn by heart, burn the midnight oil, pull an all-nighter, play hooky – which of these expression best fits your life lately? Why?
Pull an all-nighter, I guess. I’m often up late hyperfocusing on my latest obsession (currently polymer clay) and learning new things about it.

10. What is something you’ve learned from past mistakes?
To follow my own plan rather than relying on what others want me to do. As regular readers may know, I suffered autistic burnout in 2007 when at university trying to live on my own. This was what my parents wanted me to do. I ended up in the psych hospital only to be kicked out 9 1/2 years later almost with no after care even though I had hardly improved, only because I’d met my husband and my psychologist figured that if I was married I should be able to live with him. I didn’t cope and thankfully successfully fought for long-term care. This has been the best decision of my life.

What have you been learning recently?

8 thoughts on “Lifelong Learning

  1. I struggled with using polymer clay but my middle son taught himself all sorts of wonderful sculpture and modeling techniques watching YouTube videos and became really good at using clay. I just can not get the hang of it and end up leaving nail marks or fingerprints all over the place. Best of luck mastering your latest obsession; it sounds like you are having fun with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely having fun with it! I’m glad your son is so good with polymer clay and that you at least tried too. You can remove fingerprints and such on smooth surfaces with parchment paper and on sculptures you can use rubbing alcohol. Not that I’ve tried that so far, as I haven’t done many things I’ve actually baked yet. Thanks so much for stopping by.


  2. Hello!! Not sure how you found my little corner of the blogging world but I am so glad you did. You are amazing!! Bless your heart. What struggles you have dealt with but you are a survivor and have a story to tell. So glad you shared some of that for 10 on the 10th.

    I am a retired librarian. We had a fifth grade student several years ago – Daniel – who was going blind. The vison specialist in our school district was working with him as quickly as she could to try to teach him Braille but he was so reluctant. Perhaps because he couldn’t accept he was actually going to lose his sight completely. I wonder whatever happened to him. Bless his heart.

    I was an art ed major in college but struggled to think 3 dimensionally. Hope you will share some of your polymer clay work. My daughter is making tiny food with clay…possibly polymer clay. And is teaching my 5-year-old granddaughter to play and create with clay, too.

    Thank you so much for joining me for 10 on the 10th. Hope you will join in again next month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. I can’t remember how I found your blog either, but I love your linky.

      Aw, that poor little boy, my heart breaks hearing his story. I was seven when I started losing my sight (though I was legally blind from birth), but it was a struggle up till around age thirteen, when I was mainstreamed and for this reason my little bit of sight was nothing compared to the other students’ 20/20 vision. In a way, it’s still hard.

      I’ll definitely remember to post some of my polymer clay projects once I finish something. Right now, I’m still just practising.


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