Thursday, April 22, 2010

Library Learning

Langston Hughes was honored in the library yesterday. He was billed as a Jazz poet who flowered during the so-called Harlem renaissance.  I read his biography in Wikipedia before going to the tribute. There were 2 poets (a black couple) who performed during the presentation. They are the local purveyors of ‘slam’ poetry contests in the area. Earlier I did not feel like going after my workout in the gym. But I was glad to have gone after witnessing the performance. The show is part of the coming Chautauqua Festival. I signed up for the festival as well.

It was interesting to see the performances of poetry reading. In Singapore, most of the artistic performances are technical – my definition of artistic performances that require some sort of musical instrument. I guess mastering an instrument is easy after spending a lot of time practicing. But poets seem to grow organically – by allowing their creative impulses to express themselves. There seems to be more inventiveness and artistic expression. It’s like the people can’t wait to express themselves in whatever form they feel it best.

Tonight there is another seminar in the library. It’s the last of a series with the theme ‘The Paradox of Affluence.’ I attend the seminars (with a video recording of the lecture) but did not participate in the discussion. I feel tired after attending all these free seminars that it feels like going to school. I like coming to these free events like in Singapore because it is a cost effective way to develop one self. For instance, I have never heard of a famous black poet except for jazz artists like Mile Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and so on.   

It has been a educational few months for me. Self learning techniques include borrowing books and watching free videos in You Tube; to complete one’s education. It’s been my pattern more or less for the past years to learn from free sources. But I need more experiential learning to really improve oneself. The only outlet here is my Toastmasters experience where I get to exert myself. In real life, I invest in stocks, for example to learn the lessons from the finance books I have been reading. Completing the journey with actual experiences is a good way to put the finishing touches to self learning.

Unfortunately I exhaust myself a lot. Last weekend I speed read 3 books, 3 magazines and 2 DVD movies. I made a shortcut and read by looking at the table of contents, reading the first and last chapter and skim over the rest. I did not have time to write, plant vegetables or fruits and travel in the nearby towns which I had planned to do. I have this need to immerse myself as fast as possible to the local culture. Most of the books I am rushing to finish are all on finance. I want to profit from the current economic situation by making investments in property and stocks. Need to make sure that it would not be a disaster.

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