My Semester at Sea (SAS) is behind me now. Ninety-plus days of luxurious freedom to travel, meet new people, see the world and not have any responsibility. As a Lifelong Learner (LLL), I audited classes–no papers, no exams, no getting called on in class.
As a passenger my meals were prepared, my laundry was done, my cabin was cleaned and my transportation around the world was provided. This left me 100% free to take in every detail of my voyage, to make new friends, to see the world (11 countries) and embrace the experience, which I did.
You can imagine how coming home after being so pampered would be challenging. It’s taken me two weeks just to get past jet-lag, reconnect with the most important people in my life and get unpacked and re-oriented to living on land again.
Re-entry has been slow, but steady. I created my own Hierarchy of Needs, inspired by Maslow’s model. You can see that before I could even blog I had to take care of my basic needs.
The question mark (where Maslow places self-actualization) indicates my cloudiness regarding what’s next.
Fortunately, I attended a Creative Mornings lecture today. Creative Mornings is the brainchild of Tina Roth Eisenberg. Six hundred people attended the talk given by David Kelley, founder of IDEO.com and a professor at Stanford University.
In his opening Kelley quoted the President of Stanford University who offered him unlimited funding if he could “just make all the kids confident in their creative ability.” As the author, with his brother Tom, of Creative Confidence, he is an expert in releasing everyone’s inner creativity.
Tina, the organizer, called the turnout for the event epic. “I’ve never gotten so many bribes to get off the wait list!” she told us. I was lucky enough to make it off that waiting list, albeit without the benefit of knowing Tina, and into the audience at 8:30am. I have every intention of getting to know her, attending more of these programs and offering my expertise in whatever capacity they need.
What I learned on my voyage, particularly through hearing my own advice to the students I talked to, is that the universe has provided me with a model of exactly what I want to be doing next: inspiring others through my experiences. It may not be in an auditorium at Parsons School of Design, but it will be addressing, educating and encouraging students and other lifelong learners by sharing my journey.