Through the learning / looking glass – 7 things my reading glasses have taught me about learning

Reading glasses are a relatively new acquisition for me.  They’re never far from my side these days.  In fact I’m wearing them as I type this (that’s me above).

Given my focus on learning,  I figure my specs have taught me a few things about learning:

Lesson number 1: don’t reinvent the wheel (or frame), get help from someone in the know.

When I found myself holding reading materials further and further away I knew I needed some help (either that or longer arms).  A visit to my optometrist showed that it was time for reading glasses.  No fancy prescription was necessary just some drugstore reading glasses.

Lesson number 2: how you frame (pun intended) learning has a lot to do with learners’ receptivity.  Is it a problem, a challenge or a possibility?

Rather than bemoaning my fading 20/20 eyesight I was determined to accept this fact of aging gracefully.  In fact I set out to find some glasses that were fun, funky, smart and sexy.  That’s me above in my red pair.

Lesson number 3: talk to your friends and colleagues when you’re learning something new.  In addition to experts they can give you valuable insight (pun again intended).

I told my good friend Tara Fenwick about buying my first pair.  She said ‘What?  You bought only one?  You’ll need more than one.  You’ll need one for your purse, one for beside your bed, one for your desk etc.’  I thought at the time she was exaggerating but being able to see is a priority and searching for glasses is no fun.  I’ve lost track of how many pairs I’ve now bought.

Lesson number 4: learning isn’t a straight line.  Learning a particular thing often uncovers many other things to learn.

Once I got comfortable wearing glasses, which was no mean feat, I discovered new issues.  BEcause I don’t need my glasses all the time I frequently take them off.   But where to put them?  If I put them on my head they fall off when I bend over.  If I take them right off I tend to loose them.

Lesson number 5: learning leaps ahead when there’s a strategy.

I live in a townhouse with several levels.  Before I developed a strategy often several pairs of glasses would end up on one level which was inevitably not the level I was on.  Now my glasses don’t leave ‘their’ level.

Lesson number 6: learning always requires resources (even if it’s ‘just’ time).

I travel a fair bit and realized I needed some way to carry my glasses so they wouldn’t break.  Now I have a spiffy neoprene cover that’s light and coloruful.

Lesson number 7: learning happens best in community.  Find your learning tribe.

Who knew reading glasses would be such a conversation topic.  It’s something I now share with my in-laws when we commiserate about loosing a pair.



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