Friday, February 06, 2009

Learning point of the day

I have always maintained that, as learning professionals, we should always be learning. Of course, those of us who inhabit this space are doing exactly that, but we are by no means typical. I meet altogether too many corporate trainers who see it as their job to know and to impart what they know. Being seen as a learner is to expose your underbelly - a position of vulnerability altogether too many are not prepared to adopt.

It occurs to me that posting a pic of the day allows readers a glimpse into my life. What it seldom does is afford you a glimpse into my learning journey. And that, after all is what this blog is about (hence the name). So I thought I'd redress that. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to sustain it, but I thought I'd have a learning point of the day post. Some days it may be something significant about learning and/or technology. Other days, it may be something trivial. But my learning journey is both life-long and life-wide, so I am just as likely to learn something about dogs as I am about technology. In fact, the issue of learning about dogs is looming so large at the moment, that I shall afford it a separate post today.

My learning point of today concerns snow. For you Canadians, this is going to seem very 'well duh!' but if you bear with me, I promise not to make fun when you have a learning experience about sunshine ;o)

What I learned is this - snow melts ice.

Immediately outside our back door is a wooden deck. Just beyond that, is a small lawn. The lawn is higher than the deck and is held in place by a retaining wall made of railway sleepers. On Tuesday, I tried to clear a path across the deck to the lawn because our dog was slipping as she tried to make her way to the grass for... well, you know what for. The trouble is, the snow had melted and a thick sheet of ice had attached itself to the deck, and, short of gouging great scars in the wood, I couldn't achieve my goal.

Today I was able to clear the path I wanted. Why? Yesterday's heavy (by our standards, okay?) snowfall formed an insulating layer which melted the ice enough that I could scrape it loose without damaging the wood.

Mind you, I don't know how long it will last - the snow is still falling.

I also learned that, if you're clearing a flight (do you call it that when there are only three of them?) of steps, you start with the top one. Now that I kinda figured that out before I started, but it would have meant going up the icy steps initially because, as I said, the deck is lower than the lawn. Being afraid to slip, I started at the bottom, where I could stand securely on the cleared deck. It did mean that I had to do the whole job twice, but... meh.

You may be wondering why I was doing work like this at all when I have (a) a damaged shoulder/neck and (b) two perfectly healthy teenage sons. The answer is that I felt like it.

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