Giving Homework an A+ for Health
For the past nearly three years, I was in school. Well, let me clarify. I have actually been in and out of school for probably 23 years, but my most recent school days were during my graduate program, of which I finally graduated a few months back. My schedule was always pretty packed. I would work Monday through Friday until the afternoon and then head to classes at night. Sometimes I would have two night classes a week; other quarters I had three; and I think a quarter or two I actually had four classes. On top of actual class time, I had endless amounts of homework. Weekends would arrive and constantly lingering over my plans was the paper, presentation, or program I had due the following week. Even though I loved what I was studying, at the end of the day, homework is homework. But today, after being the educator of a class instead of the educated, I found the Unexpected Health assigned…to a little bit of homework.
Homework has all sorts of personal health benefits: you can earn a degree (or many); you gain insight into a field you may know little about; you learn how to work in groups, how to organize your time, and how to adhere to deadlines (at least you SHOULD learn these things!); and if nothing else, you may be able to answer a few more questions of Trivial Pursuit . But the unexpected health you gain from being graded is that you now have tools to then share with others. All of your hard work, time, and money can be translated to both personal growth and community empowerment…and learning and sharing tools from all walks of life is healthy.
I happened to have learned tools for empowering others toward healthFUL living. That was my area of study. But I have gained countless amounts of helpFUL insight and knowledge from those in other walks of life: I have learned marketing and collateral design ‘tricks of the trade’ from my creative friends and colleagues; I have been educated about marketing and business practices from business owners; my mind continues to expand from learning teaching techniques from my teacher friends. All of our knowledge about all of our varying areas of expertise are essential for us to grow ‘in’ and expand out. So the next time you question whether you have something to offer, whether your insight or opinion matters, or whether you should “waste” your time doing the homework of life (both graded and not), remember that we need each other. We must learn from each other, by each other, and with each other. If I ever get to a place in my life when I think I have learned it all–or even enough–I will immediately sign myself up for another class and another bout of homework assignments, because I have obviously not learned one of the most fundamental lessons: life is not about arriving at a destination, it is all about the journey…at least that’s what my teachers say. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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