I have taken a ton of classes over the years. Many of the classes were just to gain extra knowledge in a specific area. The funny thing about me is that I never received an actual degree for anything.
To this day, I still feel that having that piece of paper hanging on a wall somewhere in my life would not make a bit of difference in the amount of knowledge I have accumulated. My father always wanted me to get one; in his eyes, it was a sign of prosperity.
Please do not misunderstand, I agree that in certain fields a degree is preferable: Doctor, Lawyer, Scientist, and any profession that puts someone else’s life in your hands. I want to know that the person that pulls me from a burning building, pulls the knife out of my leg, or protects me from a Road-Rage whack job; has had the proper training and education to handle these types of situations.
When it comes to me and professional learning institutions, we butt heads. My first experience left me feeling that I was taking a bunch of “extra curricular” (E.C.) classes that were required, but to me felt completely useless. I am never going to EVER use physics. I knew it back in my early twenties and by golly, I was right. My closest connection to it would be through the show The Big Bang Theory, which I absolutely love. (FYI, my favorite person is Penny.)
(If you have never seen, check out the Halloween and Christmas – Bath Item Gift episodes.)
I felt that all the extra classes a person is forced to take to get that piece of paper was ridiculous, but I wanted to learn.
This was Hint #1: The thrill of learning new things.
I took a small business class because I wanted to run a small business. Part of the class required Accounting 101 – made perfectly logical sense to me. As that turned out, was when I fell in love with Accounting. I looked further into becoming a C.P.A. (Certified Public Accountant) – but then again, I would have to take all the E.C. classes – grrr. I found that I was overly excited about learning more about Accounting, but not so much in the other gunk.
My next hint came several years later. I had a job that was alright. It allowed me to work in an accounting field – Bookkeeper which kept the thrill going for a while. But I needed more and I was not sure what “more” I was looking for. A friend told me about The Aptitude Test that the local community college provided. The first time I took it, I had to pay ten dollars for the results. It was all hand written back then (The old-fashioned pencil and paper type. Man, I am old – eeek!) and took about four hours to complete.
I hate tests. Every time I take one I panic. The normal grade school through high school tests were alright, but then I took a Speed Reading class which, as it turns out, blew it for real testing. Yes, it taught me how to speed read, but the down side to doing it is missing the important details. Well, I was glad to know that this was not that kind of test. There was no judging, no grades, and no pressure to finish on time. The test is simply to help you to understand what you currently hide in your brain, vs. things you have a passion for but may not know yet.
I received my results in the mail along with an in-depth explanation of how to read and interpret the graph. They also included long lists of the types of jobs related to the different fields on the graph. According to my results, I could have been in:
- Customer Service (that was a given due to my waitressing years),
- Accounting, or Math Related field (They had me at Accounting.)
- Then it actually said that I could have been a Nuclear Physicist – me? I don’t think so Lucy!
The results even listed a Psychiatrist as a possibility. I found this very funny because I had been a bartender several times in my life. I used to make-sport of the fact that I should have been a Shrink after listening to everybody’s problems in the bar. The bummer of this is I have somehow earned The Bartender Face, not by choice, it just happened. People you do not know will just start spilling their problems at you. I have seen others with this face. If you have ever been a Bartender for more than six months, you will get one.
(The face on this guy tells me that he has been dong it for way too long!)
Hint 2: Understanding that I have an Impatient Passion for doing many things.
Then my ultimate favorite thing ever happened…The Age Of Computers (insert dun-dun-daa sound here!). The amount of information a person can get, and store, was amazing. My main thrill was not in the storage, but in the information. One class that I did take, complete, and get a certificate in was Computers 101. This was way back in the early 1980’s. We got to dissect a computer just like you would a frog. Somehow tearing the box and its guts apart was calming for me. The whole thing boiled down to bits of metal and wires.
This was followed up by two more historic moments for me:
- Having an employer that paid for all the office related computer classes that I wanted to take – so I did.
- Getting to know a Computer Tech who told me: “There is nothing you can do in that computer that I cannot fix.” Best, dumbest, words ever spoken. I made it my life task take him up on that. During the day, I got to take all the “heater” calls. Then, when everyone else got to go home at five, I got to work with the I.T. department. I made him live up to that statement (for a story at another time).
The very first time I got to push buttons and see something happen I was hooked (yep, a button-a-holic also.).
- 10-Key by touch.
- Type 100+ w.p.m.
- Obsessed library researcher
- Persistent question-asker.
Roll those all into one and you have me with a computer. The best thing the computer age has brought about is learning. There is nothing you can’t find, do, or save in a computer. I have even taken multiple classes through my computer. This thought led me to the final definition for a Learn-A-Holic:
Hint #3: You have several projects going at the same time.
I currently have the following:
- Knitting projects
- 5 working
- Crochet projects
- 7 working
- Card Making
- Valentines and Happy Birthday (hope to complete 20 of each by month end)
- 3 working blogs, 2 of which I try to post at least once a week.
- Surveys for cash
- Signed up for 3 different ones with a goal to complete 1 survey on each per day.
- Working on 3 how-to e-books.
- Day-to-day standard duties (feed, water, clean up, and prep for next season.)
- Taking online classes through Udemy
- 26-hour, slam-dunk class on Character Drawing.
- Marketing Strategies (something I am in DIRE need of!!).
- Learn how to use Canva (my fav right now).
My mind and my hands must be busy at all times! I even find that when I sleep, my fingers still move about. I know my mind wanders because of my various dreams. This, to me, is the biggest part of a Learn-a-holic.
- You never stop.
- You do not have to go fast,
- There is no set speed or time limit except for the ones you set on yourself.
You may also have several projects going on at the same time, like I do. You maybe lucky enough to only have one big project going on, and all your being is tied up in getting it done. It doesn’t matter how you handle it, you just have to keep learning something new or you think you will die.
This all came about because I received the following email article:
I used to love going the traditional route, but for the last eight years or so, it has become faster, easier, and better doing it online. This makes me happy and sad at the same time.
WE NEED TEACHERS! Yes, I am yelling that out because I firmly believe it. I can teach a few things that I know well, but I don’t believe I have the patience to be a full-time, in front of class type of teacher. If it’s one-on-one I do OK. This is what makes the Learn-a-holic in me feel sad. What if shutting down the colleges, turns into no one wanting to be a teacher anymore? How awful our world would be without them? So I give Kudos to all those Teachers in my life – past, present, and future. We Learn-a-holics could not survive without you!
You can also check me out on: www.helbergfarmstories.com for fun stories from our farm.