Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Frugal Education

My daughter and I attended a teen writers conference last week in Kansas. It was put on by One Year Adventure Novel and there were several excellent speakers. My daughter fell in love with author/speaker Stephanie Morrill from Go Teen Writers wrote the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. I enjoyed all the authors, editors, and publishers that spoke, especially Mark Wilson, who teaches writing at a college in Oregon. The whole four day conference was just amazing and the teens who attended were such hardworking, determined writers who really inspired me.

What really impressed me was the amount of education and information that you could learn in just four days. The amount of quality information shared was almost overwhelming and my daughter and I still trying to digest it even now. Many people attend school for years and never glean as much practical information as can be learned through topic-specific seminars and conferences. This is a great way to get a frugal education. For the mere price of staying in a dorm room and using the shared bathrooms, eating cafeteria food for a week, gas to get there, and a small conference fee, we were able to learn a vast amount of knowledge about writing and publishing. And, we had tons of fun besides!

My son attended the local technical college last year. His comment, after finishing the certificate coursework, was that he had learned everything he wanted to know and didn't have to take a bunch of classes that would be useless to his life goals. Such a direct and frugal approach to education works for me. Education is about learning. It's about what you learn, and how you learn, not where you learn.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Colorful Country Living

Today, I came across this picture that my son took last fall and it reminded me of one of the reasons I love living in the country. It's a very colorful life. I was recently at a teen writer's conference with my daughter and, as I chatted with the other moms, there were several comments about what an interesting life I had led. I have never really thought about it before, since I mostly just  focus on the day or week I am trying to survive. I have been reminded of how blessed I've been to have lived in many different kinds of places and to have experience things many people never do. I grew up in an idealistic spot (for a kid, maybe not the parents!) where we were free to safely roam the fields and woods and to follow the creek as far as we could. I've experience living in a college dorm and making life-long friends. As a new bride, I lived for many years on a tropical Pacific island, and then move to the suburbs of the Pacific Northwest. And now, I've experienced the long, cold, snowy winters of the Northland, as well as the beautiful summers and the autumn leaves. I say thanks to my new friends for reminding me of all by blessings.