Study

 

IMG_0574

I came across a nifty blog on WordPress today called The Daily Post.  It’s designed to give people ideas for jumpstarting their blogs – and possibly gaining more followers.

One of its features is the Daily Prompt.  Each day, one word is posted and bloggers are invited to create a post based upon that word.

Today’s word is “study”.

When most people think of studying, they probably look to their days in school, or preparing for a professional examination.  The word brings to mind a sense of drudgery, of long nights and bottomless pots of coffee, of attempts to stave off procrastination.  A sigh of relief is breathed: “Thank goodness my days of studying are over!”

This is not what studying means to me.

I never finished college.  I might.  I’m not sure.  I’ll be 46 this year.  Most of the credits I’ve earned are no longer transferable because the course content is outdated.  I have my doubts as to the value of the return on investment in resuming formal education at this point in my life.

Yet, I study every day.  Here are some of the topics I’m currently studying:

  • I study finance.  Specifically, I try to read one article on personal finance basics (frugality, cutting costs, getting out of debt, saving for retirement, etc.); one article on each of the stocks I hold (see my post on my friend Eric’s blog here, about how I got started in investing last year!) and one article on the markets in general.
  • I study personal growth and spirituality.  My goal each day is to spend some time reading about recovery from areas of blockage and challenge in my life, and additional time reading about new practices and points of growth that I have moved into.  Both are important.
  • I study content related to my current full-time work in the human resources sector.  Reading about the industry in which you work is a great way to counteract the boredom that can often arise in performing your day-to-day job duties.  You start to see what you’re doing, however mundane, as contributing to a bigger picture.  You develop ideas as to how you might be able to add more value to the field.
  • I read something related to writing each day.  I set a goal this year to get myself on the road to making money using my writing ability (the blog you’re reading is a first step toward that).  A writer – especially one who is only beginning to dip his or her feet in the water of trying to do it professionally – is not going to feel inspired every day.  Therefore, it’s important, especially on those days I’m not feelin’ it, to read about others who do it, about ideas, about tips.  This is how I found the Daily Post!
  • I read at least one item each day that deals with how to strengthen my presence online – branding, marketing, blogging, HTML, and more.  This helps me both with my own blogging and in assisting others with amplifying themselves online, the latter being a field I’d also like to break into.
  • I study the world around me – from what is directly around me, here in the Bronx, to national issues, to global concerns.  All are important.  All concern me.  Sometimes my local studying comes in the form of observing events that are happening directly in front of me.

Now, studying all of these things is not just about reading!

That’s what we were taught to do in school – read, and then regurgitate what we read on an exam, or in a paper written in APA, MLA or Chicago style.  That ain’t what studying is about, folks.

True studying involves doing three things:

  1. Consuming data (reading, watching the news, etc.) is the first part.
  2. After consuming data, it is necessary to think about the information you’ve just learned.  Do you believe it?  Always look at the source of something you read.  What might the bias be?  Are you left with questions?  Thinking about information you’ve just consumed will inevitably lead you to discover more to consume, more to learn, and more to question.  This is the beauty of studying.  It’s a workout of the very best kind for your brain!
  3. The last part of studying something is applying it to your life, actively.  In future posts, I am going to go deeper into each of the areas of study I have listed above and share some things I have learned, where I have learned them from, and how I am using them in my life today.

When you make a new purchase – clothing, electronics, new dishes, whatever – and put the item aside, up on a shelf or into a closet somewhere, never using it, the acquisition is of no value to you.  You’re essentially on your way to becoming a hoarder.

Don’t hoard the information you learn!  If you do that, you will turn into a head full of information and not much else.  You won’t get joy out of life.  I believe that one reason so many of us are often unhappy and dissatisfied in our lives is that we are consuming more information than ever before, but not thinking about it and using it.

That’s my “study” story.  Thank you, Daily Post, for your inspiring prompt!  I’m looking forward to connecting with more members of the WordPress community.

~ab

via Daily Prompt: Study

So…what am I doing here?

gunhilln22

Hello!  Welcome to my blog.

You’re probably wondering what a site called “White Ghetto Lady” is going to be about.  Truth be told, so am I.

The name comes from an experience I had in a subway station a couple of months back.  I’ll tell you about that in a moment, but first, a little background…

At the end of this past September, I moved to the Williams Bridge section of the Bronx.  I’ve worked close by here since the beginning of the year, and I’m able to walk to and from my job from where I live now.  It’s sweet.

I’m the only white person I have ever seen in the neighborhood.  This doesn’t bother me in the least; it’s never been important to me to be surrounded by people who look like me, or share my background.  The area I moved from – Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – was full of people who looked like me, and I couldn’t stand it.

The Bronx is like nothing I have ever seen before.  Now, I’ve lived in New York City for nearly 25 years, in Queens as well as Brooklyn.  That’s over half of my life.  The Bronx is…different.

I came up with this blog largely to write about the unique features, qualities, and goings-on here.  I’ve never done a blog before, and I have a couple of other websites in the pipeline (one of my 2018 goals is to develop a strong and multifaceted online presence); I have a feeling that this one will be my online home base, as much personal journal and “blog about nothing” as it is collection of observations and reflections on my current neighborhood.

Back to the subway station.  Gun Hill Road #2 train station, a Sunday morning, about 8:00 a.m.  It was one of those productive Sundays, the kind on which you’re up and at ’em at 6 in the morning lugging laundry bags around and getting all sorts of little things done that you’d been putting off for weeks.  I’d had an issue with my MetroCard the previous Friday night, and I was at the station to obtain one of those envelopes they give you to send the card off to the MTA in hopes of eventual reimbursement.

I use a lot of words.  My parents both use a lot of words, the people around me in my hometown of Danbury, Connecticut all used a lot of words, and I learned at a very, very young age how to squeeze the maximum amount of words possible out in every conversational situation imaginable.  Where I come from, saying exactly what one means, in extreme and vivid detail, is a prized skill.

In New York City, this is not a prized skill.  Native New Yorkers, hearing me speak like this, have sometimes expressed the desire to squeeze the maximum amount of crap out of my windpipe so that the words…would…just…END already.  It’s torture to them.  I’ve learned how to edit myself and get to the point more quickly as the years have gone by, but I’ll never lose the wordiness entirely.  It’s like an accent – it’s always gonna stick a lil’.

So I’m in the Gun Hill Road subway station on that Sunday, telling the clerk in the booth what happened with my MetroCard, in detail, trying to make sure I don’t leave anything out…and unbeknownst to me, a line has formed behind me…

“YOU KNOW PEOPLE HAVE TO GET TO WORK!” a female voice shouted.  I look back, and want the concrete to open underneath me: there are like six people in line behind me, all of whom actually have to be somewhere, while I have all the time in the world and am going on and on about the four different swipes I made Friday night and what happened after each.  Beyond embarrassed, I immediately step back, apologizing profusely and of course with as much detail as possible.

And that’s when I hear it:

“WHITE GHETTO LADY!”

One of the young men leaning against the wall over by the machines yelled this out, obviously referring to me.  Oh, was I devastated.  After the line cleared, I went back to the clerk, wound up my interaction and got out of there.

The next day at work, I told a couple people about it and they cracked up laughing.  So did I, eventually.  One thing led to another, and that, readers, is how this blog came to be.

Talk more soon!