The Frame

Identifying myself as a visual learner, I preferred to learn that way. Books, direct teaching, live workshops came on the top of my favourite learning experiences. For years I refused to try online courses, ignored ebooks and kept doubting my abilities to learn in any other possible way.

Months ago I joined a live workshop in which the instructor urged the attendance to listen to podcasts and to register in online courses, “live courses will become obsolete one day”, he explained, “you must evolve, embracing new methods and technologies.”
Ending the course I jotted a look at a mind map I had drew before the course. It was divided into two main branches, one displaying my weaknesses and the other my strengths. The sub branch of learning triggered me; categorising myself as a visual learner under my weaknesses, for I had other senses that I wasn’t using truly well.

Temped, I decided to give it a shot with just one podcast. In the days that followed I allocated some time to work on this weakness. Podcasts, TED talks, videos, ebooks, seminars and webinars unfolded in my hands, inviting me to the virtual world and dissolving my previously called weakness. Taking notes while watching or listening turned out to be my key to effective distant learning. It saved me time, effort and lifted my self-esteem. I enjoyed turning a weakness into a strength and learned not to frame myself in one limited area for I found a brand new world awaiting me out there.

Love, Is It A Verb?

Love is a verb. It’s true it is. However many of us forget the fact that a verb could be pronounced not only acted out.

When I was a kid, I had wondered over and over if my parents loved me. My mother was a devoted mum, during the school years she prepared my sandwiches herself, she ensured my uniforms were clean and ironed, she made sure I did my homework and she spent long hours revising with me so that I get high grades. She disciplined me daily, never loosing energy nor hope. During summer time she motivated me to read and to handle my own responsibilities; like arranging my room and doing my laundry to prepare me to become an independent person. And though she worked hard nights and days on me, I always doubted her actions, for I was so young to understand her motive.

This journey of agony lasted till I delivered my baby girl, only then I was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together and to see the full picture. A large big red heart appeared, inside it were the books, the snacks, the laundry, the lectures, the reprimands, everything. My feelings were mixed up, I felt screaming and laughing, wailing and dancing. Why, why didn’t you say it? I needed to hear it and it would have made all the difference.

Now, not a day passes without that I tell my children ‘I love you’. I say it many times a day. I prepare their food and tell them ‘it’s prepared with love’, I discipline my daughter and tell her ‘Because I love you’. Every time I say it, it holds a new meaning and it has a
brand new taste.

‘I love you’ is a short sentence consisted of just three words and eight letters and it has an incredible effect of human beings no matter how old they are.


The Recorded Details

When I was a child, I spent few summer vacations at Alexandria, enjoying the Mediterranean Sea. Though most of my memories about those holidays are missing, yet my mind selected few and kept them very well recorded. Thinking of the old days, I saw my very modest bicycle, one I had to dream of for years before owning it. I used to ride it to a small kiosk from which I bought novels for children. Going back home with just one book the deal was that I keep it in excellent condition, return it the day after and get the next one in the series at half price. Back then, I used to spend long hours reading, enjoying the adventures of the five main characters in the stories, unable to sleep till I finish the book in my hands and after keeping it in a safe spot till the next morning.
Remembering this memory now I thought of my mother and how she tried to embed in me many values from this small experience. From the bicycle I learned to be patient in buying expensive things and to be satisfied with simple stuff no matter if my parents were financially capable of getting fancier brands. I learned how to be careful with my books and to treat them as fine objects. I savoured the pleasure of reading and enriched my imagination. I learned to negotiate and to act independently. I understood that a book is a loyal friend when we have no company our age. I figured the meaning of a hobby and practiced two which I still cherish; reading and biking.
My mother never explained her parenting strategies and I was so ignorant till my past started to unfold beneath my eyes, putting my saved memories into perspective.