#52sparks: Back to School

After many years of structured learning, I am done. I have to be done or two very dear friends will have be locked up in a padded room. While many people will go through 12 years of school, I continued on through four years of college, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate.

It has been over two years since I finished that last degree and I’m still discovering how to learn without a syllabus in front of me or the pressure of a grade looming over my head.

Sometimes curiosity will lead me down a rabbit hole of several books by the same author, such as Rebecca Traister, or on the same theme, like the very large pile of books I’ve read on running. YouTube and Netflix can also be great resources to discover stories, contexts, and ideas that you had never thought of before. Alongside “Floor is Lava” are documentaries like “13th” and “Period End of Sentence.” And for every fantastic and hilarious season of “Nailed It” is the sweet kindness of “The Great British Bake Show.”

In the midst of all those spectrums is a show like “Indian Matchmaking.”  According to Netflix,

“Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the United States and India in the arranged marriage process, offering an inside look at the custom in today’s world.”

It was the perfect rabbit hole between editing projects. And you never know what you can learn from a dating show.

Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • Some individuals take a very long time to get out of their parents’ authority. A few of the participants in this show did not seem ready to date and get married; instead they were following their mother’s direction.
  • Disconnect between what is said and what is meant may be a universal issue. As men and women gave their long lists of priorities, it seemed like they were trying to use politically correct words for what they really wanted. Like if a top priority is about how the other person needs to be flexible, maybe you’re not ready to compromise and sacrifice (I’m looking at you Akshay).
  • The perfect date does not mean the right partner. Some of the dates on this show were like something out of a Hallmark movie (one was on horseback!). But those extravagant moments and glamorous outfits did not make two people fall in love.
  • The episodes I watched were all better when a fluffy dog was by my side. I needed someone to talk to about my thoughts (#TeamNadia) and he was happy to oblige.

While kids around the United States are headed back to school, many from their dining room tables, adults also need to be looking for creative ways to learn and grow.  It might be books, it might be Netflix, it might be a kid’s long division.

Dive down the rabbit hole; Wonderland could be waiting.

“We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron, Star Wars: The Last Jedi). – #52sparks is my year-long writing series for 2020, based on an art prompt challenge. The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. This series is to explore what hundreds of inches and words can do.

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