New Project: 30 Days of Learning

1 Nov

It’s November, and today I start my newest 30 Day Project: Learning. 

For the next 30 days, I will be undertaking all sorts of new classes and workshops on many things I have wanted to learn, or am just curious about. Here is a sampling of some of the fun things I’ll be doing – and if you have an idea for me, please share it in the comments below!

Glass Blowing

I have wanted to learn the art of hot glass blowing or fusing for many years now. I’ve seen it demonstrated everywhere from here in my hometown at the East Austin Studio Tour, to the centuries-old workshops of Murano, near Venice, Italy. Now, thanks to the awesomeness of Leigh Taylor Wyatt, owner of East Side Glass Studio, I finally get the chance to learn the art myself. Leigh has agreed to teach me (and hopefully protect me from myself near the hot furnace) – but she warns me that I might get addicted! I can totally see that. I am very, very excited to do this.

Flying Lessons

Yes, I am going to take the controls of an airplane. Let me know if you’d like me to send you a warning to stay clear of the skies on the day I go up. I figure I’ve jumped out of a plane before, and I’ve done some flying on the trapeze, so how hard can flying a plane be? All joking aside, I can’t see myself really working toward getting a pilot’s license or anything, but I have always wanted to take some flying lessons and just see what it’s like. I have a couple of potential instructors lined up, and of course will keep you all posted.

Dance Classes

I have taken classes in many forms of dance before, from ballet and modern as a teenager to more recent years of belly dance and Bollywood lessons. So for this project I’m going to take classes in new forms of dance I’ve never tried, at the Tapestry Dance Company. One is Bharata Natyam, a sacred ancient dance from southern India. Originally performed during temple rituals, this highly stylized form is now performed in theaters worldwide, using traditional aesthetics of symmetry and geometry as well as an expressive element in which hand symbols are used to tell stories.

I’m also going to try Contemporary Dance, Ballet and maybe Flamenco. Should be exciting!

Cooking Workshops

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that I LOVE to cook (and I love to eat!) Several of my previous projects have had to do with food (Locavore eating and Sustainability). I do a lot of cooking and have taken a few different classes, but never any cooking workshops to learn more professional skills. Thanks to the folks at Central Market, I have been invited to take a number of their classes this month and will be learning Mediterranean cuisine, Italian, sauces and sushi.

At Lake Austin Spa Resort, they will be having their Culinary Experience this month, and I will get to take a class from Chef Candice Kumai, coined as the next inspiring food guru of her generation. She was on the first season of Top Chef and has been the host of several TV cooking shows.

Spanish Language Lessons

Improving a foreign language skill is always a great learning experience. I debated about whether to try and improve my already-existing basic French, or to try and learn Spanish. Seeing that Spanish is so much more useful in my life, and Keith and I will be going to Nicaragua in January, I decided to take Spanish lessons. I will be working with Aaron Myer’s awesome Everyday Language Learner program online, and adding to that with Wednesday Spanish for Beginners at Esquina Tango here in East Austin.

I may be taking a few other classes, including a Bar Method fitness class that incorporates aspect of ballet into working out. I’d love to take piano lessons too, so if anyone has a lead for that please let me know!

In other news, I need your help deciding what to do for my very last 30 Day Project, in December. I had pretty much decided to take the focus off myself, and end the year with “30 Stories You Should Know” – thirty inspiring tales of people I have met along the way who have some amazing stories to tell.

Then I saw another person’s cool 30 day project, where she became a tourist in her own hometown, and did something every day that she’d never done before in her city. I thought that might be a fun thing to do here in Austin.

Now I’m stuck and can’t decide which one I should do. Do you have a preference? Please help me decide and weigh in below!

Thanks,

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3 Responses to “New Project: 30 Days of Learning”

  1. Sandy Seale November 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Well I must admit there are several of these I don’t see turning out well. Hopefully you’re insurance is paid up. Remember you are a klutz & coordinationally (is that even a word?) challenged. But I will try to maintain faith that so far in your life you have somehow managed to have enough stubborness, strength, determination & probably stupidity to make everything you try to do turn out right. Go get ‘em girl !!!!!! God speed :)

    As for the December Project why not make each day a true celebration of what the true essence of Christmas should be….what so many have lost sight of. Each day make a conscious & precise act of unconditional love & giving to others. Doesn’t always have to be something expensive; most meaningful things in life have much more to do with love than money. Hellp show Christmas is all about love & sharing/giving.

  2. Aaron G Myers (@aarongmyers) November 3, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Shelley,
    You’ll do great! Can’t wait to be a part of the language part and to see how the others turn out as well.

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