A Learning Experience

Those of you who have taken the course in kiltmaking have probably realized that there’s a big difference between being in class with an instructor watching your every move, and being at home trying to make your first kilt all on your own. There’s a HUGE difference: all of your insecurities and self-doubt creep in, you’re about to take a pair of scissors to $250 worth of fabric, and your kid needs something to wear on Saturday. I can hear the cries of AAARRRGH!! from here.

Sometimes all you can do is forge ahead. The worst-case scenario is that you might have to rip out something and spend time putting it back together (correctly this time) so that it fits, lays flat, and generally looks like a kilt.

You will learn twice as much working independently than anyone can ever teach you in the course of making a kilt. Remember that we learn just as much, if not more, by making mistakes than we do if everything goes perfectly. At this point I could insert any one of a number of sayings about how people learn, but the big thing to remember is that they learn by actually doing stuff, not just watching others. You have to struggle with it, just as you did when you were learning how to ice skate. You WILL fall down. It’s part of the process. But if you get up, rub the bruised areas vigorously, and try again, you’ll do better, and eventually become proficient at your new skill.

So, Keep on Sewing!!

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One thought on “A Learning Experience

  1. Amen, Judy – truly eloquent, and 1000% on-target. I heard you say it for 3 years at kilt camp, and but never really "listened" until I put myself in the position of having to finish my daughter's kilt for a competition three weeks away – her first as a premier dancer. I HAD to finish it. And when I heard "well, it looks like it won't be done" from my kilt making teacher, then I REALLY had to finish it! Yes, there were some bobbles, but I put my head into the task, focused on the instructions, called my friend Laurie to bring tea and croissants, and forged on! And wonder of wonders – I got a P.D.G.* rating from the Fairy Kiltmother!!!! Which I felt was HIGH PRAISE! Just wait until I really know what I'm doing! But best of all, my finicky pre-teen daughter actually deigned to wear it, and danced beautifully in it. Meant the world to me. Now I feel like I can do anything – the making of the kilt transcended the original purpose and delivered much more.* Pretty Darn Good

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