I remember my first day of kindergarten. I wanted to go to school when I was three years old. I’m sure that was because my older brother got to go and I didn’t want to be left out. But I remember having an internal longing to learn. I wanted to know things. I didn’t like not knowing. I was scared to death of people but wanting to learn was a stronger drive. I’d swallow hard and face getting on the bus, meeting new people and being alone in the world. Yeah, kindergarten can be a scary place. We didn’t have preschool in the early 1960’s. There was no daycare or other such place where kids could learn how to socialize with others their own age and get used to being without mom.
For me that was kindergarten. That was fifty five years ago. Sometimes I feel like I’m still that scared little girl trying desperately not to cry while trying something new.
Subject and degree of difficulty doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to learning. There’s a tension in that space between not knowing and finally understanding. I thought as I got older the anxiety would lessen. It hasn’t. I have, however, learned how to use the tense uncertainty of not knowing to my advantage. I don’t like the knot in my gut. I don’t like not understanding. Some tension is good but if I let the anxiety get the best of me it will shut down learning rather than empower it.
One thing I don’t like about the process of learning is when you can’t find the answer. I’m not above asking for help. I want to do my own work but when I’m stuck I will only spin my wheels for so long. When it becomes evident that I’m not getting anywhere I reach out for assistance. That’s not the frustrating part. The frustrating part is when you can’t find anyone that knows your dilemma.
As you can guess I’ve been spinning my wheels and I’m beyond frustration. I’m researching bible study software. YIKES! Getting beyond the cost is only the first part. Finding a product that will accommodate EXACTLY what I want it to do is something else. And I’m not getting any answers. I did this research two years ago when I switched from Windows 7 to my new iMac. I’ve been running my bible software on my Windows 7 laptop because I can’t find a software that runs on Mac that can do what my beloved PCStudy Bible® can do. Biblesoft® the makers of PCStudy Bible® made massive changes to their software with the introduction of Windows 10. Now their product is called OneTouch®. It’s a great product. I just don’t have Windows 10. The company tried a Mac version for a while but due to certain Apple® changes it is no longer available. So I’m back to square one. I don’t mind having to learn a new software but I can’t find one that will accommodate me.
What’s a girl to do? When I introduced to learning Biblical Hebrew for devotional purposes I jumped at the chance. Our teacher was a former Bible College Professor who developed a method of study for non-seminary students. That meant I didn’t have to go to Bible college in order to study the scriptures in their original language. That was right up my alley. There were hard cover books with tiny print.
I didn’t care that it was labor intensive. For me the labor helped me to learn. The tension of not knowing spurred me to learn. I’m a visual and tactile learner. I like to handle the information as much as I need to see it. Hebrew being a pictorial language only lended to my bent for learning. I practiced writing my aleph-bet just like I did my ABC’s in kindergarten. Here we were a table full of over forty’s learning something new. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks. This old dog loved the process. We made jokes about feeling like we were in kindergarten. Someone made a wisecrack about eating paste. We bantered back and forth about which was better snack time or nap time but inwardly we loved it.
Once I got the hang of it I was able to do more digging in the scriptures. I had bible study software but upgraded to PC Study bible in 2010 when I got my then new laptop. It was wonderful. I was able to dig into the Hebrew like nobody’s business. I had more lexicons than you can shake a stick at. Yeah, I’m a geek. Since I mastered my software I didn’t need the musty old books that I could barely see. They’re somewhere in box in the basement. I’ve been a bit of a pickle since 2017 when I got my iMac. As long as my old laptop holds out I can use Chrome remote desktop to access my software through my iMac. It’s cumbersome and I’ve been researching software since.
I must admit I’m not looking forward to making this particular shift. Cost is a major factor but how the Hebrew is integrated with the different lexicons is another issue. Because I am not a Hebrew scholar I am a heavy dependency upon my tools. I’ve been using the online free resource: BibleHub.com to facilitate having to do things differently. It is twelve years since I started learning Hebrew for devotional study and I am having to revisit the learning process again. Back to kindergarten. Back to the tension of not knowing. I am hopeful.
I am trying to take a page from my mother and grandfather’s book – so to speak. They both never stopped learning. They were always looking for something new to learn. The never stopped reading and never stopped learning. There was always an open book on the night stand and always a new mountain to climb.
Here’s to new adventures and finding a new path. Wish me luck.