I’ve been unusally distracted lately in wonderful ways, mostly having to do with taking classes and planning classes.
The lovely origami image above was made watching Dr. Lizzie Burn. I try to watch her in real time. Sure, I could catch up on her recorded video, but I like when I can tune in for real on Wednesday mornings at 9 am EST. She’s folding in England, after lunch, I think, but, for me, it’s a sweet early day romp.
Lizzie has not been the main culprit behind my distraction. Becky Warren claims that dubious distinction.
The class with Becky Warren, which teaches artful skills to apply in Geogebra, has taken up a huge amount of headspace. It’s been a real challenge, not just with the learning of skills, but also trying to understand what I’m doing, and then I try to remember what I’ve learned. I’ve taken lots of notes and have revisited things constantly.
Not only am I learning about what’s been taught in the class, but I’m also trying to wrap my mind around this new landscape of on-line instruction.
Ever since I’ve had access to the internet I’ve looked at tutorials of all sorts, and made a bunch of my own, so I have a feel for on-line learning. There is something different though about this way of learning right now. The pandemic has changed everything.
Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about.
The experience of 10 weekly meetings with Becky seemed onerous at first, which might have seemed even harder because I had trouble with every little detail of what I was trying to learn. If I hadn’t practiced a lot between classes (which was possible because Becky provided recordings of the class) I would have learned nothing. I often showed up early to class to ask my clueless questions.
After awhile it was like I was building up some muscle memory. Things started getting easier. It’s still really hard, but basic skills have become easier.
I am over the moon about what I’ve learned in these classes. They’ve given me a foundation to build on.
I’ve also been sometimes sitting in with Dr Lizzie Burns on Wednesdays, 9am EST. The videos are posted for reference afterwards too, but it is such a pleasure to join her in real time.
Since I am so comfortable with paperfolding in general, the origami demonstrations are a more relaxed kind of class for me. I can tell that Lizzie wants people who are unfamiliar with folding to be comfortable in her class. For her, the message is about the comfort of creation. She works slowly, slow enough for me to watch her, then do the fold myself without missing her next step. As soon as the session is over it is available to watch on youtube, so if I forget a step, there it is, right away.
As I am learning from others, I am planning some new classes. Being part of Lizzie’s classes and Becky’s classes have influenced my thinking tremendously.
I’ve done a couple of free Saturday morning Zoom classes, but have not provided a video afterwards. Now I think that this was cruel of me!
Here’s what I’m thinking about for my next open class:
I’d like to show people what I’ve discovered about how to fold this lovely thing. It’s something I saw in one of Paul Jackson’s books. He shows a template, but what I want to highlight are tips about how to fold efficiently.
I am thinking of doing three different short classes (30 minutes or less), once a week for three weeks, just because I like the continuity. Then I will try to post a video right away, either of the class itself, or of a tutorial that I’ve made in advance.
I’m also planning on doing a class 2 hours a week for 12 weeks, something that is more like a college level class, that I will be teaching through The Center for Book Arts. Susan Share and I will be co-teaching this. Soon after we’ve completed our proposal, hopefully today or tomorrow, I will announce the class. It will be based on teaching the Zhen Xian Bao structure, but it will be about so much more than just making one book. Like Becky’s class, I hope that this will be a deep dive into accumulating skills over a period of time.
Here’s a teaser photo:
To be continued!