Friday, April 6, 2012

Pondering/Rambling Thoughts

One thing doing something like winding skeins allows for is the subconscious mind to pick away at things and one of the realizations I came to is that while I can dye yarn, I don't actually want to any more.  And so once these skeins are dyed I will be inventorying my dyes and will likely offer them for sale.  I'll no doubt keep some for myself, just in case I want to do some dyeing in the future, but I'll have no need for the box of dyes that I currently have on hand.  Rather than have it go bad through aging or getting damaged (by getting damp) it will be far better to sell them on to someone else who actually wants to dye yarn...

Another question that has been simmering away in the back of my mind is that of teaching.  Darryl Lancaster has jumped into on line classes with a will and made them sound very attractive, indeed, from the stand point of the teacher.  (Anyone taken a class - what are your thoughts from the stand point of a student?)  Since the biggest expense involved in my traveling to teach is the actual cost of traveling, I'm seriously looking at offering classes via Weavolution and have come up with two topics that could quite easily be done in an on line format - Magic in the Water and A Good Yarn.

One of the things I'll be doing in May is dropping my computer off to my computer wizard who will try to get a microphone working.  Since the last upgrade the microphone I was using no longer worked - not sure if it is just an incompatibility issue or if the settings just weren't correct.

Anyway, if people are interested in an on line class on either topic, let me know.  Part of the impetus for exploring this venue for teaching will depend on interest. (i.e. students registering)

As I have been standing at the winder watching the counter run up I've had time to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, for however long that may be.  The events of the past four years have left me in no doubt about my mortality.  If I have 20 years left, how do I want to spend those years?  (In reality, in terms of travelling to teach I probably only have at most 10 years, if that).  Teaching on line would extend the time I have for effective teaching - no more bustling through huge airports dragging heavy suitcases, sleeping in strange beds, eating foods that might make me sick.  Seems pretty attractive.

The downside would be not having face to face interaction with others - although on line classes would at least allow for real time conversation. 

But in terms of how I want to spend the next 20 years?  Weaving is at the top of the list.  Therefore I need to get back to finishing the weaving for the Big Project.  I'm over the half way mark now but running out of time if I'm to get it done by my intended publication date.  So I'm thinking I may have to revise that to September.  The deadline is, after all, my own and can be changed if I need it to be different than originally planned.

One of the benefits of self-publishing.  I know I won't lose the contract because I miss my deadline.  :^)

Currently reading Blink by Malcom Gladwell - interesting that this book should be subtitled The Power of Thinking Without Thinking when all I have been doing for the last couple of days is thinking very hard, indeed!

14 comments:

Heidi Pettitt said...

I've taken two weavolution classes (one was with Daryl) and loved them both. I don't have easy access to a guild where I'm living and I don't have the funds to travel for classes so I love being able to take classes online. Also, while I did enjoy my classes, I don't think online classes are being used to their full advantage. I got my masters degree in Librarianship through a mostly online program and there is a lot more that could be done then an hour lecture. This might not be the best place to post this, but there is a site called http://www.quiltuniversity.com/ that offers multi-week classes and I would love to see some weaving teachers develop classes in this type of format.

Let me know if you decide to hold either of the classes you mentioned, I'd love to take them!

~Heidi

Laura said...

Thanks Heidi - I'll look more closely at the info - thanks for sharing. :)

cheers,
Laura

Anonymous said...

About online classes... There is one by Daryl that I was tempted to take but when I inquired about it I found that it was a prerecorded Power Point presentation which did not appeal to me. I like having live interaction (perhaps you CAN do this on Weavolution!) If not, I think a great way to offer online classes would be through a program called bigmarker.com . I found this site and told Joyce Brisebois about it. She plans on doing a free class using the site (http://www.bigmarker.com/club_conferences/index/joyofweaving) but I can imagine you offering classes at and charging for them!!

I took a class through the online quilt university someone spoke of on your blog but I didn't care for that format either. I feel that you need to use the internet to its fullest i.e. not just have a handout that I download, print and then a forum where I can post pictures or questions. I think this format coupled with some live classroom teaching and/or interaction would be the perfect mix.

In closing, I don't know IF Weavolution offers live interactive classes. If they do, I would certainly want to sign up for some. As a suggestion to the folks at Weavolution, ask them if they could video a class with live presentation etc. as a sample of the exciting teachings and learnings going on there!! Phew... I was long winded!!

Melissa said...

I am also very curious about online classe but only recently got high speed Internet and still don't have a proper laptop. But I will sometime this year.
I love the idea of having access to more students, especially students who cannot travel to classes. I think it could be a great resource, but I have no experience as yet.
I would take a class from you to try it out!

Laura said...

So far as I know, the whole point of the Weavolution classes was to have a live interactive experience.

While my material for the two classes would be in a Power Point presentation, the PP would just be on screen as a reference and starting point for discussion.

I can also see showing video clips as part of the Weavolution experience if the topic would be enhannced by them.

Needless to say, I have to do some research and first thing is to have a mic that actually works!

cheers,
Laura

The puppies' grandma said...

Laura, I just took one of Daryl's classes on Weavolution this week and loved it. It was extra special because I was the only student. It had me wondering if you could do an online version of the Efficient Weaver class you have given at the Folk School since I doubt I will ever get there. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the advice you give on the various forums. I would be very interested in any online classes you might offer

Jacquie

Laura said...

Part of the problem with doing the Efficient Weaver is that I need to see the participant weaving so that I can give feedback on their posture, shuttle handling etc. Or at least, that's how I do it in person... :)
cheers,
Laura

The puppies' grandma said...

Perhaps the Online class would need to take more of an "here are some methods I have found to make weaving easier, faster, more fun, ..." approach.

Jacquie

Laura said...

Yes, that is part of what I do during The Efficient Weaver but the biggest benefit to the student is to have an outside observer. At JCC last month, one of the participants was lifting her hands far too high - it wasn't until I saw her weaving that I was able to explain part of the reason she was having shoulder pain was in her shuttle handling. Another was sitting far too low - she *thought* she was high enough but she wasn't. It's being able to observe and tweak these sorts of things that make The Efficient Weaver of real benefit. :) Which isn't to say it couldn't be done, just that I'd really like to be able to observe the people actually weaving, too.
cheers,
Laura

Heidi Pettitt said...

This wouldn't work for those without access to a video camera, but if we had someone film us weaving would you be able to offer feedback on that? I would sign up for that in an instant.

Laura said...

Of course! :)

cheers,
Laura

Peg Cherre said...

Traveling to classes is a challenge for me, too, so I tried an online Weavolution class. Unfortunately, I can't participate in those, either. I live in the sticks, and my only options for (supposed) high-speed internet is a little dish on the side of my house. (Other typical high speed options do not exist - cable modem? Cable tv doesn't come this far out. Fiber optics - they MAY run a fiber optic cable before I die, but maybe not. Wireless access? Not at my home nestled in the hills.) I did get a little satellite dish about 2 years ago (after living on dial up for decades). Yes, it's a lot faster than my old dial up, but it's not really high speed. Not high enough to do a real-time class.

It might be interesting to do a bit of research to find out how many people are in my situation -- or still on dial up like my friend over the hill.

Anne Sockwell said...

Your suggestion of setting up some online classes is very timely and welcome! I too would be very interested in such an opportunity. I think one of the challenges of "Live" online classes, which all of us want most of all, is the problem of the intermittent nature of our nation's internet connectivity. I have participated in an online class before and there were lots of problems with people being able to connect and then to stay connected. Come on, USA! We are falling behind in this as in other things. This is a concern that you might look at - really investigate the host that you use - how are they attacking this problem. Maybe this is part of Daryl's decision to use power point. I would love to participate, though. BEST of luck with this project!
Anne

Laura said...

While the internet isn't the solution for everyone, neither is travelling to teach/learn. :( No one solution will work for everyone. But I'm interested to try this. I agree about the internet - I am very new to a high speed connection myself, which is making it even possible to think about doing it. :)
cheers,
Laura