The first concept in my 2009 Lifetime Learning Project is "To explore various methods of self-education on various topics in order to identify subjects and techniques I would like to use going forward with my Lifetime Learning Project." One of the methods I am going to begin experimenting with is something I am calling "Knowledge Blocks". Here is my working definition:
"Knowledge Blocks" will consist of a minimum of three books making up a theme. At least one of the books must be non-fiction. After the books are read, I must write about the theme connecting the books, how each book fit in and what I learned.
The reason I have chosen to model the definition this way is three-fold. First, while I will allow myself to include as many books in a Block as I want to read, if I require more than three books, I risk running into problems with my short attention span. Three allows a decent introductory exploration of a topic without it feeling like a chore. Second, I always mean to read more non-fiction but never seem to make room for it. The non-fiction component of the Block provides an incentive. And third, my dream is to someday write a non-fiction book. The writing component of the Block will help to develop the habits of conscious planning, orderly thinking and daily writing.
One of the first examples of these Blocks will most likely be on art forgery. I will be tying together the reading of Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Forgery of Venus, and a book I'm waiting for from the library called The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century.
Let the experiment begin!