Learning Forever

Learning for life was never really a concept I gave much thought to as I made my way through years of a post-secondary education. I can clearly recall the last semester in my fourth year of university, counting down the days to be finished. No more essays. No more peer-reviewed articles. No more hours spent in a library surviving on peanut butter sandwiches.

But then I went to college for a post-grad certificate and things changed. Yes, it was still a ton of work, but I was given more opportunities to be creative and work with students in other programs, and I could start to see a path to a career. Continue Reading

“Never too late to do something different”

canada-powerliftingThe year of 2007 was one of the worst of my life. My only son Jason passed away at the age of 34 and there were many complications in the birth of his premature daughter Hannah, three days later.

I drifted into a deep depression that took many years to end. Going to the gym became a way to focus on something different and feel better both physically and mentally.

One day at Goodlife I observed a woman putting 45 pound plates on the bar and then proceeded to lift it. I went up to her and asked her, “What are you doing?” Continue Reading

Benefits of Hands-On Learning

backpackThere’s been a huge shift in the labour market. It’s likely no different from what the agricultural sector experienced years ago when youth stopped gravitating towards those jobs and turned to the retail/hospitality sector which were closer to home, and not as physically demanding. Patterns are emerging, however, in the labour market where there doesn’t seem to be many youth who want or are available to work general labour and customer service type jobs.

Who claims responsibility for this shift? Are we not allowing our children the opportunity of experience life hands-on? Are current parents cocooning our young people in an effort to protect them from making mistakes? Some say they would rather their kids focus on education, but how can one understand what they are actually good at without hands-on experiential learning? Continue Reading

It’s All A Learning Experience

lightbulbIn the next stage of my apprenticeship, I’ve made the move to being the person who answers calls and questions versus being the one who asks. Don’t get me wrong, I still ask questions of my boss and colleagues, but I’m now responsible for newer apprentices. How you help shape an apprentice when they’re starting out can impact them throughout the rest of their training and career.

I’ve learned there are a lot of teachable moments, show and tell, encouragement and at times constructive criticism. For example if I have to repeat the same instructions for the third time, something is wrong here. There are days I feel like a crisis counselor, talking someone down when they’re mad about a job or co-worker, but still recognizing personalities will come into play in every workplace. Continue Reading

3 Things I Learned Hosting My Own Workshop

workshop 2I recently hosted my first full weekend workshop at a local gallery in my hometown. Since the gallery put the workshop on, I did not have to worry about getting participants. My job was simple; show up and teach.

My workshop was called;  Making Photos, and it was a class designed for photographers of any skill level with any camera looking to improve their lighting and composition in their photography. Here is what I learned: Continue Reading