Every summer my local library features a reading program, usually geared at young people, but they always have a program for adults, too. When teaching I always looked forward to joining because I was anxious to sit for hours and read - something I very seldom found the time to do with the rigors of lesson preparations. I wrote a post in 2006 explaining the program and what books I planned to read. (That was the first year of my blog.) In 2007 I didn't participate because Candleman and I took a 5 week trip in the summer. I know I blogged about the books I was reading for 2008, but I can't find that post so I can't include a link.
The library has a new children/teen reading director this year who has completely changed the adult program. I can't say that I like it better or worse - it's just different. This year there are 12 learning activities that we are to choose and do eight. Some of these fit well into my Vigorous Mind paths of cross-training and some were new ideas that were fun to do and provided further cross-training for me.
Here's the program and the 8 activities I chose:
1. Learn to use Picasa digital photo editing. My daughter had given me PhotoShop a few years ago so I decided I should concentrate on learning that program instead of downloading something different. I figured that would be just too confusing for me. I have followed several tutorials offered online, inculding one from my daughter on inked edges. She has a couple more tutorials and there are loads more on other sites. I'm looking forward to doing many more of these.
2. Learn to Twitter or how to use Facebook. I had already signed up to use Facebook, but I don't use it very often. I did do some searching on features and learned to play Farkle, but I'm not really "into it". So I joined Twitter. I totally don't know what to do there. I'm all the time seeing on blogs requests to Twitter about a book giveaway. I still don't see how anyone would every find out about those giveaways from Twitter. Guess I better search for a Twitter tutorial.
3. Try a new recipe from a a library book. This one was easy. I made a recipe on page 81 of Taste of Home Ground Beef cookbook. Can you believe that's all I recorded - not the name of the recipe or how we liked it?! I guess I wasn't all that impressed.
4. Go on a "Staycation" see one of our local history sites. I didn't do this one, although I plan to attend the quilt show in August at the museum. The library's summer program will be over by then, so this won't count.
5. Download a book from the libtrary's Overdrive digital media collection. I spent hours and hours on this simple sounding activity. I've been downloading audio books for years onto my computer and then transferring them onto the iPod. I ran into problems finding a book, but there was a security line that was wrong in my version of Windows Media Player. I ended up searching for an update that still didn't work. Finally, on an obscure little question an answer page set up by someone else having the same problem I found several 'possible' solutions. The last one finally worked. Someone had written to the company and they had sent him a little bit of html to fix the problem. Good grief! I'll just check out audio books from my library!
6. Paint something. Check out a book from the library and be creative. I'm passing on this one.
7. Learn how to do Zentangles. The library is offering a class on these, but I didn't want to wait so I searched them online and found several tutorials, including videos, that provided sufficient instruction. I was quite tickled with my first attempt at this art form. My daughter decided to try her hand at it and created 2 very lovely zentangles - one is actually a zendala. If i can learn how to photcopy hers and transfer them to the computer I'll post pictures. If you want to see others' pictures just search images using the word zentangle. So many and some are very amazing.
8. Learn a foreign language with interactive audio using Mango. This program is free but I think you need to get to it from your library and using your library card number. What a magnificent site. Mango offers 12 foreign languages. Initially I wanted to learn Latin, but that was not an option so I chose French, a language I've wanted to learn since I was young. It wasn't offerend in my schools. I've spent hours working on the first lesson. I can sit at the computer and see the words, hear them pronounced, see the pronunciation hints and still not speak it as well as my husband and daughter who are only listening! Grrrr! Besides I've spent more hours doing it they have. I'm presently working on lesson two out of 100 lessons offered.
9. Learn to Blog! Since I've been doing this blog for 3 years I just about skipped this one, but then I decided there were many things I could do to improve my blog. I decided to add some pertinent ads. I've always wanted to learn how to design my own page layout. So I've been reading tutorials. I am to the point that I think I'll need to purchase a program before I can design anything that will satisfy me. I've picked up a basic knowledge of html - very basic. I will be spending many hours still on this activity.
10. Attend a library sponsored program. Last night I attended the library's book club. They discussed A Thousand Splendid Suns. It had been two years since I read it so my memory wasn't allowing me to make many meaningful comments, but I enjoyed those refreshed by others' comments.
11. Learn your family history by using ancestry.com at the library. This is another one that I'm skipping for the time being. Before I had children I spent hours and hours doing genealogy. It was fun, but so compelling. I know that once I start up again, I will be consumed with the desire to spend most of my days doing it. So this one's going on hold for awhile.
12. Learn to make a folded book for our display at the library. There's a class this afternoon that my daughter and I are going to attend. The library will provide 2 books for each patron and teach us how to fold the pages so they can be folded artistically. I've looked at some that have already been done and they are quite fascinating. The finished display promises to be quite spectacular. I'll try to get pictures.
As you can see the Adult Summer Reading Program is not really about reading but about life-long learning. Great idea! I still thing I will do the old reading program as well. Hopefully I will get my books chosen for the different categories and post them soon.