• ...life is too short to learn all we wish to know.
  • ...the opportunity to learn is only limited by perspective
  • ...even desolate roads can provide beautiful scenery

Dolor Hic Tibi Proderit Olim…

More Latin…

If you’re a Walking Dead fan, you know where this comes from – and what it means:

“This Pain Will Be Useful To You.”

The last time I left you, I had written about another Latin saying: “Dulcius Ex Asperis”, it’s mostly coincidental that I come back to you now at a time where another Latin phrase with the potential for powerful meaning nudges its way into our current vernacular, but also honestly, after hearing it on the show, it seemed like a good opportunity to jump back on and write something since I haven’t in quite sometime. 

As life seems to get more and more… complicated, the idea of enduring some sort of struggle or having to overcome an obstacle in order to get to a place of… solace, success, peace…or whatever it is has been that sort of creed that I’ve held on to as I attempt to endure and overcome. I can tell you already, it has been MONUMENTALLY more difficult than I ever thought it would be. 

“The Great Wisconsin Experiment” has officially ended. The house that we bought as part of a relocation package from my first job in Wisconsin (see last post), will be put up for sale in the upcoming weeks. My children have had to leave their friends and schooling to start anew, and one of the biggest reasons for us moving up there – my wife not having to work – has been revoked, as she has now begun working again. We are staying with my wife’s sister and her husband down in Bloomington, Indiana, who have been kind and caring enough to open their home up to me, my children and our dog. We are lucky to have a place to stay and that my wife has highly in-demand skills to find a job very quickly.

As a part of Generation X, I am part of the last generation to have witnessed first hand the “Old School” mentality of what it meant for a husband to be a provider and work at a job regardless of fulfillment or happiness; because that is what they were “supposed” to do. In my next post, I’ll fill in a little bit about how things got to where they are, and what the future may hold for me and my professional life as well as if through difficulty there is sweetness, or if this pain is inevitably useful… stay tuned!

 

Sincerely In Learning,
~ Rich

 



Dulcius Ex Asperis

    This Latin phrase has been a favorite of mine for many years. Even before Mr. Craig Ferguson entered the collective consciousness (he has it tattooed on his upper right arm; although he can still take more rightful ownership of the phrase since it is the motto of his ancestor’s Scottish Clan). The phrase can be interpreted two ways: either “Sweetness After Difficulty” or “From Difficulty, Sweetness”. The translation is subtle, but the meaning is significant, and that’s why I’ve always loved it. Sweetness after difficulty would imply more of a passing of time. After this difficulty, comes sweetness. Whereas from difficulty, sweetness really sounds as if there can only be sweetness because of the difficulty. See…subtle, but significant.. 

     About two and half years ago, I relocated myself and my family up to Wisconsin for a new opportunity. It was a great opportunity professionally. The relocation was bittersweet. I grew up in Chicagoland and spent most of my teen and young adult years in and around the city. But as of the begining of 2012, I found myself in a leadership role at “a family company”, just outside the land of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and the Violent Femmes. 
     But, despite the high cost of living, the traffic, the corruption, the fiscal deficits and just the overall odd political dichotomy, I still miss Chicago desperately. I miss my friends, I miss my Blackhawks, I miss my Bears and I miss my Cubbies. I miss Blues clubs and the occasional nights in the Loop or on the Northside (even though those nights had become less occasional). I even miss trivial things, like a good quality local TV newscast. Watching Milwaukee news makes me feel like I’m watching the Saturday morning news in Chicago – it’s like the B Team.
     The most important thing is though, is that I am growing & progressing. I am learning. I am getting better at what I do. That’s why I’m here and I’m lucky to have the support and the opportunity to do it.

….That was 2012.

     The opportunity that brought me and my family here has come to an unfortunate and unexpected end. The “family company” is going through a very large and public restructuring; in fact, the largest such undertaking the company has ever seen in its 125 year history. As a result of the restructuring, the position I was hired for and relocated to do is being eliminated and I therefore will no longer have a job as of August 29th, 2014. Such is the nature of risk I suppose. I knew that the possibility existed when I took the job, that I could lose it. I couldn’t have seen it happening quite this way, but life is sort of funny that way; and so now I move on to the unknown. Admittedly it is a bit scary, I mean I didn’t choose this path, it was chosen for me and I have a family for which I am the sole provider. On the other side though, I am presented with yet another opportunity and in that regard, it is a bit exciting.

     It’s quite a coincidence that I have now become a prototypical example of “LEARNING DEFIANTLY” – We don’t always want or intend to learn…anything. Sometimes, we’re just forced to.

     So I bring you back to my favorite phrase, Dulcius Ex Asperis. Many times in the past I’ve looked at this phrase as a passing of time, retroactively. I’d gotten to the sweetness after the difficulty. Now I find myself understanding the other meaning. There is a difficulty I must endure, after which there will be sweetness.

~ Rich



Three tech trends that could change learning forever – by Donald Clark

..Oh and 2500 Years of Learning Theory

dclark

I have to say, when I think of the person that I listen to the most when it comes to humans and how we learn, it would have to be Donald Clark. Aside from being an encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject, he can be down right hilarious some times. It’s funny though, whenever I go to conferences or hear other “Thought Leaders” (I hate that term) speak about Learning Theory, I imagine Donald Clark as Matt Damon in the bar scene in Good Will Hunting where he completely emasculates the pony tailed know it all by exposing all of his “thoughts” as plagiarist and unoriginal….

Good-Will-Hunting

Anyway, enjoy this great talk from Mr. Clark. He spends most of the time talking about what has come before, but at the end he gives us a peek at new technology like MOOC’s and the Occulus Rift VR.

This presentation was given at the Learning Technology Summer Forum, June 16th 2014.