The Joy and Challenge of Learning

video of Christine

I consider myself a lifelong learner. I enjoy watching documentaries and I love reading nonfiction books. 

As a child I didn’t mind being grounded too much as long as I had access to books.

During my time at university I read books beyond the requirements for my major and later graduate studies, but also browsed the libraries dedicated to medical students or chemistry students. While working as a scientist in HIV research I read what was relevant to my job at that time. However, I have always enjoyed to broaden and deepen my knowledge on topics outside my professional realm.

For me learning is joy.

But sometimes learning can be a challenge due to a difficult subject matter, a demanding environment or a fast approaching deadline.

Like many instructors, the pandemic forced me to put my in-person lectures and workshops on hold. While some quilt stores opened their classrooms again, I do not feel comfortable teaching in person. For my own comfort and the safety of my students, I decided to move forward with virtual lectures for quilt guilds and groups.

To announce my virtual lectures, I registered with Global Quilt Connection, a platform that brings quilting instructors and representatives of quilt guilds together.  

After I enrolled, Global Quilt Connection decided to raise its level of professionalism and is now asking instructors to submit a three-minute video.

Oh my, now what? I wrote my script. I set up my studio with lighting for taking video clips, which is of course, different from the setup to photograph artwork. I tested my laptop, DSLR and iPhone for ease of operation combined with best quality of the video and audio. I struggled with the glare of the lights on my glasses, but luckily, the world wide web offers resources to solve these kinds of problems.

But oh boy, how long can three minutes be when you need to act ‘naturally’, reciting memorized text and filming yourself? I became the ‘starlet’ in front of the camera, the cameraman behind the lens, and the editor of video and audio. I needed new software for video editing and of course, I had to learn the software first. 

I uploaded my video clips, separated the audio and video tracks, spliced in the video and audio to discard unwanted pauses, change the volume of the narration, imported slides, and did voice-overs. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time.  There was no choice, after all I had a deadline for submission.

I managed to create the video within a matter of days. It is my first video and there is certainly room for improvement.

Next time it will be easier as the challenge of learning will turn into the joy of learning.


PS: Here is the link to my video (or click on the image above)  and to the website of the Global Quilt Connection