Learning Beyond the Classroom

Greetings readers,

Welcome back to the blog!

‘Tis that time of the year again, famously known as…back to school season! (Let me know, are you a “yay” or “nay” for this). This is the 4th school year that I’m no longer a student. Fun fact to insert here: I was a student for 22 years! (Can you believe it? That’s over two decades of life!). Now, even though I’m no longer a registered student, I think learning never stops in life. As the saying goes: Learning is a life long journey.

In the last couple of years or so, and greatly “thanks” to the pandemic, I had more time than usual to read. And I believe, I did just as much (educational) reading compared to when I was in university. With the exception that, reading for a course is *sometimes* rushed, whereas, reading on my own, I can do it at my own pace. This is also why, I love reading, but I won’t join a book club!(Maybe I shall start one, with a name, “read at your own pace… It probably won’t be successful…).

So, the big question is, what do I like to read? Well, there’re a few types of books I enjoy reading quite a lot. I LOVE a good memoir/biography. Especially, about people with disabilities. And I read a few good ones over the years. Just to name a few: I enjoyed reading Amit Patel’s Kika & Me: How One Extraordinary Guide Dog Changed My World; Sick: A Memoir by Porochista Khakpour; and Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong, this book is a series of essays, and I can see it being used in a course in disability studies. I read more memoirs than I can list here so, if you’d like to know any other titles, just ask!

As some of you know, I live with chronic pain (for quite some time actually), and have yet to find adequate pain management/relief. In the last year, with the recommendation of a good friend, I started reading some pain management related books. I can’t say they are helping me with the pain. But, it’s definitely helpful to read that there are many people in the world facing similar challenges as I do. My purpose of reading these materials isn’t to find treatment/cure through them, but rather, to find community and some sense of emotional support. So far, I’ve found the pain companion: everyday wisdom for living with and moving beyond chronic pain by Sarah Anne Shockley a helpful resource; Christiane Wolf’s Outsmart Your Pain: Mindfulness and Self Compassion to Help You Leave Chronic Pain Behind, a simple and helpful mindfulness guide, if you’re looking for using mindfulness to help with chronic pain; and, Living Beyond Pain: A Holistic Approach to Manage Pain and Get Your Life Back by Linda S. Mintle, and James W. Kribs, also another good resource to have.

Finally, aside from reading a good autobiography, I also love to read a good self-help book. Now, self-help books can be very broad, depend on the topic. But for one, one author I really like for a long time and can’t recommend enough is… *drum rolls please* Brene Brown. Recently, I read two of her (newer)books—Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone and Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Human Connection and the Language of Human Experience. Both are good reads in my opinion. Self-help books can be tricky to recommend. But I do find, with the subject you’re interested in, one can learn a lot from reading them! (If you want to talk to me more about recommending self-help books, let me know!).

So, here you have it. This blog isn’t a book review, of course. But, I think I’ve demonstrated the idea that, although I’m no longer an official student, registered in a school or a class, I can still learn outside of the classroom. Since I’ve shared with you some of my good reads, have you read any of these titles? Which book interests you the most, if you haven’t read it already. Let me know in the comments!

By: The Invisible Vision Project

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