by Suzanne Reisler Litwin
The back to school season is upon us. This time of year is very exciting for me! As an instructor at Concordia University in the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), I will be teaching creative writing courses, specifically this fall – Writing for Children. I will also be teaching creative writing at The Cummings Centre. And… Now, I have butterflies of excitement in my stomach. I love this time of year. So many things will happen in the next 50 days which gets me giddy. Firstly, the nights start to get cooler. That’s my number one thrill as I’m not a summer person. I’m sure many people are rolling their eyes at that statement. I love cool weather and enjoy wearing a light scarf around my neck. So my season of autumn is upon us.
Although my work really never ends, it gets pumped up in September. I will have the opportunity to meet a bunch of new bushy-tailed students. Together, we will go on a creative writing journey, learn from each other, and produce excellent creative prose. That’s exciting stuff to look forward to.
Also during this time of year, many new learning opportunities are advertised. That’s when I lose myself! Tons of learning centers send materials to my home or via email. Would I be interested in learning Mandarin, Italian, French, Spanish, Hebrew, etc.? Would I be interested in learning how to dance ballet, tap, ballroom, line, etc.? Perhaps I would like to learn karate?
How’s about signing up for a pre-season pass to my favourite ski hill? Better still, maybe I would like to sign up and learn how to become a yoga, barre, or Pilates instructor? How’s about just participating in yoga, barre or pilates classes?
Horseback riding sounds wonderful. Maybe I will learn how to play bridge, canasta, or mah-jongg. Painting, sculpting, printmaking, drawing, wood carving also sounds amazing to me. I want to learn how to SING!
I would also love to learn how to make jewelry, stain glass, and portraits. Photography and cooking lessons always peak my interest.
Lectures and engaging speakers are advertising their topics and content and I want to go to all of them!
The list is endless. I want to do everything and I want to do it now. My interest in self-improvement, education and curiosity is driving me crazy. I’m almost out of control.
When my children were younger, we used to study all the learning opportunities that were made available at this time of year. We would decide based on what the children wanted to do. Usually, my kids stuck to their passions of sports and dance. Once in a while, they would venture out into new activities. Now that they are older, their interest to try new things is even more heightened.
So much opportunity, so much variety, so much freedom to choose. It’s a glorious time.
I understand that not everyone has the time or the financial means to engage in new learning. However, there are so many different classes and courses that just might suit your needs. Volunteering also opens up great opportunities to learn new skills and new languages.
For me, I am a constant learner. I love school, learning and listening. I also like to try new things and activities (on my terms).
I just can’t seem to figure out what I want to learn, do and experience within the time and days that I have available. It’s going to take some planning and thought.
September is the month of “rebirthed learning”. I’m sure most school-aged children will not agree with that statement. No doubt they are rolling their eyes and fighting off the first day of school. My hope is when children have finished their formal studies; they will still embark on the wonderful learning opportunities presented to them especially during this time of year.
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.