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Practicality or Obsession?

I’m really looking forward to the personal learning project option. A long time ago a former student of mine was doing one of these learning projects and I just never forgot about it. She was learning to crochet, and I thought that just sounded so appealing. Honestly, sometimes it seems like there is no time for hobbies — learning for enjoyment. BUT… if you are telling me I HAVE to learn something, that’s a different story. If I have to take up a hobby for educational purposes, I won’t feel guilty about it, right? I suppose at some point I should unpack that guilt, but I digress…

Anyway, I have a number of ideas — here are my initial thoughts about subjects and things I have always wanted to learn, or might benefit me to learn:

Calligraphy – I’ve been obsessed with these videos of hand lettering for a long time. This was the first option I thought about. I think I would likely have to invest in some supplies, but would need to do some online research about what to buy and how to learn, obviously. I think recording my process would be relatively easy; it’s the editing of the video that would take me some time to learn. I have a basic knowledge of imovie, but no one wants to watch a janky video, so I think I would need to spend some time learning those skills, on top of the actual calligraphy or brush lettering skills. 

Movie editing – this got me thinking about how often I need to use video editing technology. There are so many platforms that make learning easy, but a really well edited video is just so much more impressive in terms of communicating messages effectively, and in an entertaining way. One of my colleagues in our Balfour Arts Collective does all our editing and tech problem solving (thanks Will!) and it would be nice to actually possess some of those skills myself, as opposed to always have to depend on him. We use so much of this type of technology in BAC, it just makes sense to spend some time learning something that would benefit me and my students. 

Social Media editing – In a related vein… social media editing, specifically, Instagram and TikTok – Again, in our BAC program we use social media frequently to promote our program, and to promote and share student learning. I am responsible for most of the social media posts. I have a working knowledge of stories and reels etc., but I know I am not using the platform to its potential, and I know I could do a much better job at creating videos, reels, posts that better reflect what our students are doing, and better engage parents and the community. 

Dance – I love to dance, but I have no formal training outside one random adult tap class. I’d love to learn something… maybe a hip hop sequence or more complicated tap steps. I’m not going to lie, I can totally see myself getting into full scale interpretive dance. But, do I really want to film myself doing this? I fear it would be more along the lines of some serious prancing …

Conclusion: I’m up in the air right now. It makes the most logical sense for me to learn movie editing, especially as I could then use the skill to literally make the video for this project, and for my summary of learning. And yet… I want to learn how to do (?) or write (?) using calligraphy (calligraphize? I don’t even know the right verb to use). I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid. So, I need to think on it: practicality or pure enjoyment?

Author: Janeen Clark

I am a teacher with Regina Public Schools in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Primarily I teach ELA and Fine Arts, and I am a part of Balfour Arts Collective.

2 thoughts on “Practicality or Obsession?”

  1. Logical schmogical. My vote is pure enjoyment. That is the route I’m taking with mine (learning to run for fun). My perspective is that in our busy lives sometime we need someone to force us to experience some joy/fun that is “just for us”, so we might as well use this learning project for that! Selfishly, I want you to document learning calligraphy no matter the quality of your videos – it just looks so cool! Plus, there is a great opportunity for some alliteration here…Clark’s Calligraphy… c’mon, that gold. I look forward to seeing what you choose in the end!


    1. PURE ENJOYMENT!!! I also have a huge obsession with those calligraphy videos. Pure #ASMR (google it – I had to once my students started using it daily). Perhaps you can double-up and do the video-editing as well since you’ll have to take videos?
      Do not think nobody wants to watch a video of calligraphy. I love it! Also, you could end your project with a montage of your progress from beginning to end. Perhaps pick a quote you want to master by the end of the 7 weeks?


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