Daily Archives: April 24, 2009

Dummies, Idiots, and Absolute Beginners

True confessions time:  I hate not being good at things. 

I blush to admit it, but it’s true. Even though I know, logically, that I can’t be a superstar at everything, it still kind of bugs me when I’m less than stellar at something. Knitting is currently driving me crazy – no matter how hard I try, I simply can’t cast on properly; I’m also pretty lousy at jewelry-making and (much to my parents’ chagrin) housecleaning.  So, unless you’re really desperate, please don’t ask me for a homemade sweater, DIY earrings, or the opportunity to eat dinner off my kitchen floor.

Despite my distaste for personal ineptitude, I keep stumbling across interesting hobbies and skills that I simply have to try; it still bugs me if I don’t master a thing right away, or ever, but I’m starting to come around to the notion that maybe the reward in trying a new thing is not in getting good at that thing.  Maybe the reward is in the trying.

In that spirit, here’s a short list of materials that aim to teach new skills. 

Quilting Through Life, Julia Teters-Zeigler. A collection of crafts meant to feed your soul as well as beautify your house. The content is meant to uplift and inspire, and give you some notions to dream on.

National Poetry Recitation Contest: Performing Poetry, An Audio Guide. Get pointers on how to read a poem out loud, and enjoy sample recitations from an all-star cast. To learn more about the actual competition, click here.

Divine Canine, the Monks of New Skete. Why not learn with a four-footed friend?  Bond with your dogs while teaching them obedience skills in a positive, productive way.

Learn to Play Cajun Accordion, Dirk Powell. If you’re going to learn something new, why not think outside the box? I had no idea this DVD existed until Tuesday, but you’d better believe I plan on mastering the Cajun accordion by 2012 (in case my presidential bid doesn’t work out).

The Chicks With Sticks Guide to Crochet, Nancy Queen. If you haven’t yet found a crochet club, this book is a great tide-me-over. It’s warm, it’s fun, and it’s easy to understand.

There are pros and cons to trying new things by yourself, of course.  If learning in a group is more your style, take a peek at the library’s events calendar. If you narrow your search with the “Classes and Presentations” option in the left-hand sidebar, you’ll find a list of interesting things you can try in a group setting.

This includes, of course, our knitting club, upon whose mercy I will have to throw myself if I ever want to make my own Gryffindor scarf. I suspect, however, that when it comes to the Cajun accordion, I’m on my own…

–Leigh Anne

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