Tag Archives: learning by doing

Day 291 – Setting up a laptop

It turns out that you can practice curiosity not only when buying a laptop but also when setting one up. When I got my last laptop, the one that is still my main laptop, I actually invested in getting a techie in to set it up properly for me. Because I am only planning to use this one in a limited way I didn’t want to spend the money this time and so have been working on the set-up myself. (Luckily, it’s kind of cloudy today, a good day to be indoors and working on something like this.)

This computer has Windows 10 on it and my other one has some earlier program (that tells you how much I know about technology, I think it’s Windows XP, but I wouldn’t want to bet any money on it), which means it has taken some trial and correction* to get the volume set up the way I want and a free program downloaded to show videos and a few other things configured. Tomorrow I’ll work on getting the free version of Office I believe I’m entitled to through one of the universities where I teach. For today I have done enough searching and testing and so on.

* “Trial and correction” is the phrase Timothy Gallwey of The Inner Game fame uses. He feels, and I agree, that it is more accurate than “trial and error”.

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Day 084 – Learning by doing

Yesterday I wrote about Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle, which made me think of someone I know who taught himself how to sing—and managed to become a fairly well-known professional singer in the classical music world.

How did he do it? He simply made sure that he went through all four stages of the Kolb Cycle. (I’m not sure he is familiar with the Kolb Cycle, but he did behave in accordance with it.) He recorded what he was singing, then listened to the tape and analyzed what was going well and what was going less well, chose something to work on to make it better, and tried again. (Concrete experience – Reflective observation – Abstract conceptualization – Active experimentation) I don’t think that works over a long period of time without a very high level of curiosity. Where would the motivation even come from if he weren’t really curious? And how else would he avoid the trap of reaching a judgement too soon and shutting down the whole process?

Even today I am in amazement at what he managed to do.