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The learning carriage. Saturday August 3, 2013

I have a Utopian dream that one day I will hop aboard the 09.05 Liverpool to London say, and the train manager will announce not just which coach is the quiet zone and where first class is situated but also where I can find the learning carriage.

In this carriage would be fellow passengers who wish to share their learning. So, my friend Debbie, for example, could offer a discussion on all things Bronte, for there is very little Debbie does not know about the Bronte sisters. My mum could teach you how to crochet a granny square. For those drawn to science there maybe someone aboard who would enjoy sharing their intimate knowledge of the periodic table. Yet someone else could help you learn a little Greek, Polish, Chinese... You get the idea.

Hospitals too could have a Learning Ward for patients wanting to exercise their brain cells a little. Public Houses could have a corner for an interchange of learning also. (If you wish to know what it would look or sound like, take a peek inside your local Apple store and gaze around the Genius Bar. It's quite an encounter.)

Yes, yes, I know, it's all very will-o'-the-wisp. But all is not lost. One doesn't have to fiddle about long on the static locomotive that is a 'search engine' to find classes in one's own locality, on a whole train-load of wonderful and diverse topics.

What's superb these days too, is that adult learning centers are very aware of how overwhelming it can feel to sign up for a whole school year of Tuesday evenings, for example. So, many colleges offer 'taster' courses.

A college near my home here in Liverpool, offers two hours a week, for five weeks, in a whole plethora of subjects. I like the idea that we could then share with others what we have learned.

We're spoilt for choice. Dress-making? Mosaics? Local History? Up-cycling old furniture? Belly-dancing? ...

I just want it known, that if I choose the latter I won't be sharing it on a train near you anytime soon!

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Anonymous Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 8:30am

What an excellent post! I like your utopian dream, Suzy. Inspiring!

Anonymous Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 9:55am

What a great idea! Good luck if you do try belly dancing ;o)

Anonymous Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 11:01am

Great idea. Airport departure lounges, ferries, doctors' waiting rooms, DSS queues, motorway services, You could just have a big portable sign that says 'One hour class on X, here, now!" and see who comes and joins in. Like a FlashLearnMob. I'd love it - might even be brave enough to do it.

olegzaezdny Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 11:08am

Truly inspiring! And a very nice post too. We all should keep learning and trying new things, this way we'll always be young.
P.S. Suzy, you are lucky to be living in Liverpool! :)

Anonymous Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 11:35am

When we stop learning we begin to stagnate and life becomes uninteresting and predictable. This has inspired me to use the old "grey matter" in ways I don't normally. Oh and see you on the 09:05 to London!

Lostinspace Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 1:29pm

Brilliant, I love it and why Utopia? What a good use for railway carriages - commuters could actually sign up then there wouldn't even be wasted space. They would probably have to put on extra coaches!

Tom Maloney Sat, Aug 3rd 2013 @ 5:52pm

What a great idea. Change the world for the better thru education and knowledge

Anonymous Sun, Aug 4th 2013 @ 11:27pm

What a totally excellent idea! And can you imagine what kind of teachers would sign up for such an idea? Fantastic. I'd be on it every time I travelled......

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