I just spent the last week learning from educators with vast amounts of experience and had a wonderful time taking in the wisdom of these veteran warriors, who I want to emulate as I continue on in my own career. It's amazing how much we can learn from those who have come before us. The folks who have paved the way by taking risks and inventing new techniques. The House at the End of Hope Street revolves around a home where wayward young ladies find their way to and a place where the spirits of former residents roam the halls, sharing their stories and giving advice to those who are lost. One such ghost ruminates:
"[Time] doesn't go forward or back. It's vertical. Eternity sits inside you. So you can spend ten thousand years in one spot and it feels no different than an hour, you see?" pg 30
For them, their who existence revolves around those the are there to help. Each has a particular woman who she is destined to advise. Alba Ashby discovers herself on the doorstep after a betrayal by a trusted mentor. Her journey to self discovery is related through a plot that moves forwards and backwards in time, with details being dolled out bit by bit as the characters begin to take shape. While there are a couple of subplots regarding a couple other residents of the Hope Street home, most of the story revolves around Alba's unfortunate past, befuddled present and potential future. As a precocious young woman, thrust into the world of academia far too soon, Alba is floundering. Feeling the need to impress and continue to fulfill her intellectual promise, she ignores her heart's true love, that of fictional worlds and imagination. She tells herself:
"Who was she, after all, to think that she could create something brilliant and beautiful, something that wouldn't simply be a waste of the paper it was written on?" pg 139
An outcast from her family and peerless at school, Alba finally finds her place in the world through friendship from the lingering souls of the prior residents at Hope Street. Which brings me full circle. Learning to do from those who have done. I'll admit, sometimes I disregard those more chronologically gifted than I. Of course I, a citizen of this ever changing, technologically advanced world, would know more than those fossils!! What I, and really all of us, need to be conscious of though is the knowledge that these folks can share with us. Sometimes it is what not to do, but more often than not, they open our eyes to previously unimagined possibilites. After all, there are really few new ideas these days, merely inspirations about how to improve things or adapt them to our current circumstances. There wouldn't be a cart without the wheel.
Take some time to thank someone who has taught you something new be it a skill or just a different way of thinking. You may actually find that they too had stuff to learn from you! Isn't learning fun :) ?
PS: Now I can't get Darth Vader's line out of my head so I have to include it here too. "When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master." Let's not worry about what he, per Obi-Wan, was a master of and just bask in the glory of Star Wars and its ability to bring enlightenment to us all.