Learning moments

Before I knew how to write, I would dictate stories about my life to my dad. Then, slowly, I started writing myself.

I remember when I learned how to spell the word S-A-I-D. I remember saying to my dad, “Really? Really that’s the way?” I remember feeling a sense of excitement that the spelling was so unexpected. Like, now anything could happen with language.

I thought about that moment while my sons were at my brother’s chemistry lab.

My brother’s co-worker showed us cancer cells under a microscope. I have to tell you that my six-year-old son did not really care.

Here is a list of things he would have rather been doing:


Grocery shopping

Anything with another kid who is not his brother

Regardless, we each learned something there at the microscope.

I learned that the biggest learning moments are not when you have the oportunity to do something very important and special. Rather, the big learning moments are when you do something that stirs excitement inside you.

7 replies
  1. karelys
    karelys says:

    I went to kindergarden in mexico for three years. THREE YEARS!

    I was three years old and I wanted to go to school so bad that I got dressed up the day I saw teh kids go to school.

    They wouldn’t accept me so my grandpa opened a window and I sneaked through there. Sat down. And began coloring or something.

    They convinced the teacher to let me stay.

    I wanted to learn SOOO bad I couldn’t wait to go to school.

    When I learned to read it felt like bungee jumping.

    I was 18 when I bungee jumped in Canada. And I remember that’s exactly what it felt like when I learned to read.

  2. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I remember having a big learning moment when I was like five or six years old. It happened in the garage while I was taking apart my father’s fly fishing reel to see what made it tick. All of a sudden when I opened the cover this big spring exploded out at me. I tried really hard to get it back inside the enclosure but it was impossible. I had to confess what I had done to my father … and I caught some hell. It is exciting to explore but I think that incident, which sticks with me to this day, makes me more mindful while I’m still exploring to this day.

  3. MBL
    MBL says:

    I remember being in the 5th grade in a classroom that had a cluster gifted and talented group with in the regular class. I was not put into the program because I ‘lacked motivation.’ Apparently racing through the 2 grades ahead math book and reading the entire reading book within the first week of class was overshadowed by the listness that followed for the remainder of the year.

    But I digress. One day the non-gter’s were allowed to participate in a specialist’s presentation on optical illusions. I was perplexed that I couldn’t instantly figure out one on negative space (the word FLY.)
    When she revealed the answer, I was exhilarated and thought “so this is what it is like to learn something in school” Of course that was followed by, “you mean other kids get to do this every day?” followed by “man am I getting shafted.”

    Bittersweet, I tell ya’. And this is why I think we’ll have to homeschool.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I had very similar experiences. My A-HA! moments were outside of school. And my feelings of being shafted and not getting to learn the cool stuff were what happened in school.


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