By Trina Machacek

To say it has been a while since I was in school? Well “a while” needs to be defined. Every once in a while. All the while. That’ll take a while. I’ll be back in a while. Which “while?” Let’s go with, a short while.

A short while could be any time actually. Now that time has been explained, oh you’re welcome, let’s move on. Even though my structured schoolin’ has been a while ago, I learn everyday. We all do. Yesterday I learned I can roll up and put away a hammock when the wind is blowing about forty seven miles per hour and even though my shirt blows up over my head I can still laugh.

Maybe that might not seem to be an important lesson to you. But! Yes a wind blown “but.”  Any lesson is a good lesson. With me, actually all of us, being able to laugh at our circumstances in life is a great lesson.  Many laughable lessons of life will take willpower to belly laugh at. Then there will be things that we will need to learn that will take real brain power.

A few things have been put on my plate recently that will take some brain power. I am very nervous about these things. I will need to not only learn new stuff, I will be expected to remember, retain, recall and reuse it all. That’s a tall order. I took a class to become a CNA, Certified Nurse Assistant, at Great Basin College in Elko, Nevada a long while back. I was probably into my third decade and it was tough to go back and relearn how to learn and retain and then recall and use the stuff from that class. It all came together nicely though.

Then when my nurse card came in the mail? I puffed up like a sage hen. Until I realized to keep that card active I would have to take more of what is happily called “continuing education.” Since the knowledge I gained was for use with family care, not as a career, I didn’t continue my education and the card expired. Se la vie! Oh I still carry it. I mean come on it’s my “Nursing” card.

Coming up in my life is more learning of computer and marketing stuff. Someone asked if I were nervous about it. I am. I’m as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs occupied by retired people sitting in rocking chairs who just “rock on.” I did not go to college after high school so I never dealt with the pressure of paying for schooling. Well except for the nursing but that was a “we” purchase. This one is just me. Knowing that I am paying to learn has brought out my survival monster. I am ready. I am putting on my learning face. It’s exciting to be in a position to learn something new. It’s like planting a seed. Hoping for knowledge to jump up out of the ground and land in my head making me all smart and stuff.

As the day came for me to start I realized I’d need to have a few newly sharpened pencils laid out. Ready to note this and that. Ah I love the smell of freshly sharpened number 2 wooden pencils in the morning. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. I am a note taker.

Unfortunately I am a note loser too. Probably be better if I used sticky notes instead of any old piece of paper laying around. Once a month or so I gather them all up, try to read them and then end up throwing away ninety percent because they all have little dogs or stars scribbled on them. I figure if I scribbled on them they must not have been all that important. I also figure that over the years I have thrown away hundreds of life altering ideas.

This time is going to be different. I have an old desk that I got from my mom. Really it’s used for storage. Okay it’s a catch all. I opened a drawer, rifled through it and found a half used spiral notebook. I will be using it to take notes during this learning experience. I’m going to keep myself on the straight and narrow I am going to learn and when I have a question about what I learned all my notes will be in this one and only place. Okay. Concentrate.

Oh look. When I tear a piece of paper out of this spiral book I still get that little scalloped girly edge on the paper. Apparently I am not taking this learning process quite seriously enough. Riiiiip.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her funny book, “They Call Me Weener” is available on Amazon.com or email her at itybytrina@yahoo.com to get a signed copy.