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Learning for its own sake at McNally Robinson

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Do you have a positive feeling when you think about learning or does a flood of negative emotions invade your consciousness?


 One of the foundations of early learning is school. And this environment will have a direct impact on people’s emotions regarding learning.


The Greek term for leisure is scholea, which is related to the English word ‘school’. The Greeks obviously thought the best use of leisure time was study.  And now McNally Robinson, in Grant Park Shopping Centre, has created an opportunity to discover how leisure time can be used for learning.


The True Story of Classical Music program, instructed by Haley Rempel at McNally Robinson’s community classroom enabled participants such as me to invest 10 hours of leisure time learning about the lives of classical music composers.


"Why would you chose to sit in a classroom (especially about classical music) without earning a credit," was the question my university entrenched daughter asked.


 I can’t carry a tune in a bag or plumb a note with a pipe. However, the course promised a chance to discover the worlds of musical composers. I was surprised to discover that sex and drugs existed in the music world long before rock ’n’ roll. There were a lot more than fifty shades of passion in past centuries.


If the history and lives of classical composers is not your forte, McNally Robinson’s community calendar is full of courses.


There is a fall class that will allow you to discover the job of a coroner. A longer course that will explore fiction writing. How about a health course on sports concussions?


If school has been an experiential sore spot, you are not alone. However, if you were provided the chance to discover a topic of interest to you, without the pressures of studying or an exam, would that be the hall pass to overcome some fears?


As a former instructor I have spent time learning about learning. Ms. Rempel’s course at McNally Robinson is very good example of a comfortable, safe, positive learning environment.


A bookstore focusing some of it resources on learning is a novel idea. I encourage you to check out the Community Classroom http://mcnallyrobinson.com and discover what the Greeks felt about school — leisure for learning.


Sean Conway is a community correspondent for St. Vital.

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