Saturday, 3 May 2014

School, Anxiety, and the Yo-Yo

What does yo-yoing have to with school and learning? What is the point of these passion projects? I could write a lot in answer to these questions, but I'll try to stick to one point for this post. Passion projects help remind us that the learning process involves mistakes.

No one picks up a yo-yo and expects to perform amazing tricks flawlessly on the first try. Rookies with a yo-yo expect to try and fail many times before they successfully perform a trick, and even after they perform it, they are not surprised or devastated if they don't nail it every time they attempt it. Often we seem to take a much different approach to learning in school.

Sometimes (often?) in school we fear mistakes, forgetting that they are an integral part of learning. There are many reasons for this, and I don't want to get into them all at the moment, but I think it is clear that fear of mistakes exist in school and that this fear often gets in the way of learning. Recognizing this is an important step to removing fear as an obstacle.

Notice that I said, "removing fear as an obstacle, not removing fear entirely. Learning something new almost always comes with some fear, but that fear doesn't need to prevent you from learning if you recognize it as a normal part of the process. If we can embrace experimentation and mistakes as part of learning in school in the same way we do when learning a skill like yo-yoing, then the quality and quantity of our learning will great improve.

Think about times in your life when you've been nervous to try something, but you did it anyway and experienced something great. You jumped off the high dive, learned to ride a motorcycle, uncovered a love for art or geometry, discovered the scrumptiousness of sushi. Want another example? Check out Sarah's success in overcoming anxiety and finding new and improved learning as she practices the ancient art of yo-yoing. Anxiety, mistakes, and nerves are part of doing almost anything worthwhile. Understanding, and even embracing, them will help ensure that you learn, persevere, and succeed.

Monday, 28 April 2014


Some of the finest relationships in my life have been mentorships--both as the mentor and the protégée. The potential for all kinds of quality learning is almost limitless in a well-developed mentorship. Social skills, hands-on skills, theory--can all be enhanced and personalized by a mentor. Accountability and motivation are also increased by such a relationship.

But don't take my word for it; check out what your peers have to say:

"Kristiana (my cousin) gave me lots of tips and instructions that helped solidify what I had seen on tutorials. I realized that there is only so much you can learn from a video, eventually you need someone to answer your questions and talk you through it...  She's a great example for me of someone who has excelled in their instrument because of the time and effort she has put into it."
--Naomi K: Skype Saves the Day

"One thing that has become very clear to me recently is the importance of having someone who has a lot of knowledge of what you're learning and knows what  they are talking about. Whether it's an instrument or really anything else... Daniel was able to give pointers to a few different people...who had been playing a lot longer than me. Some had even learnt lies from the internet just like me. Luckily Daniel was there to correct them and even luckier, he'll always be there to correct me. His knowledge and natural musical talent will be very crucial in the success of my passion project."
--Brianna H: Much Knowledge, Very Guitar, So Music, Wow

Friday, 14 March 2014

Little Help?

(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by mag3737
Need a little help? Blogger is fairly user-friendly, but the help centre is fairly basic and relies on text. If you prefer to actually see your question answered, you can always ask me or a friend in class, but now there's a third option--the How-To Links page on Chez Hazeu.

At the moment I've included simple videos about the most common request, creating pages, but if there are other how-to videos that you would find helpful, please, make a suggestion in the comments section of this post.