‘Learn­ing All The Time’ was the title of John Holt’s last book, com­plet­ed after his death using mate­r­i­al he orig­i­nal­ly wrote for my ear­ly home edu­ca­tion ‘bible’, the newslet­ter called Grow­ing With­out Schooling.

With the right atti­tude of mind you too can be ‘learning all the time’ no mat­ter what your age, despite going to school!

Our whole fam­i­ly treats life that way. 

“The world is our oys­ter”, “You nev­er know what’s around the cor­ner”, “Learn some­thing new every day”, “You learn some­thing for the future even when bad things hap­pen to you”, “Hold your head high”, “Don’t come down to their lev­el”, “Always main­tain your rep­u­ta­tion, it can nev­er be tak­en away from you”, “Be the best you can be at what­ev­er you choose” and oth­er phras­es, tend to be our guide­posts for our life and learning.

It doesn’t mean that in my pro­found lone­li­ness and home sick­ness for all that I lost by becom­ing an immi­grant, I don’t lose sight of all those handy phras­es and neg­a­tive­ly rant about the dif­fer­ences between the US and England! 

Some­times it’s tough to feel pos­i­tive about the coun­try you live in despite near­ly 35 years of con­tin­u­al learn­ing about the nuances of ‘life in these unit­ed states’. 

EVERY DAY I hate the fact of being near­ly 4000 miles away from most of my fam­i­ly and the coun­try that makes me…me!

I have to use my con­scious mind to assist me in con­tin­u­ing to learn about the most pos­i­tive aspects of my life here. I have the con­scious knowl­edge that all my fam­i­ly and friends in Eng­land, and around the world, real­ly care about me. I con­scious­ly know that I per­son­al­ly know mir­a­cle work­ers in this coun­try that are bril­liant and car­ing. They turn up in every aspect of our lives when we least expect them.

My hus­band was sit­ting in his favourite Star­bucks on the ground floor of his favourite hos­pi­tal the oth­er day and some­one said ‘hi’.

For a change (!!) he respond­ed polite­ly (he’s learn­ing!) and said “I’m sor­ry I don’t know who you are”. To which she replied “I’m Don­na, I was one of your Res­pi­ra­to­ry Tech­ni­cians more than 8 years ago when you were in CVICU” (That’s short for: Car­dio Vas­cu­lar Inten­sive Care Unit).

My hus­band was in a coma at that time, he remem­bers nothing! 

Don­na said “It’s great to see you look­ing so well”. He gra­cious­ly (he’s learn­ing!) said “Thank you for all you did for me”. She said “It’s my last day here”.

What an extra­or­di­nary mem­o­ry she has and how for­tu­nate that even eight and a half years lat­er she and my hus­band ‘collide’ at Star­bucks for a very hap­py exchange of words.

Had my hus­band not been polite (not ready to learn!) he would have missed out on giv­ing a won­der­ful RT a gen­uine per­son­al ‘thank you’ and send­ing her off to her new job in the best of moods, I’m sure.

He’s still learn­ing!! Don­na’s con­scious knowl­edge was one of the essen­tial con­tri­bu­tions to his recovery. 

The mir­a­cle is that my hus­band has retained his capac­i­ty to learn and for that I am grateful. 

No rants today! I’m going to learn some­thing new!