Thursday, September 16, 2010

Learning Is Great Fun!

Well, I did my Senior First Aid certificate yesterday with St. John's and I must admit that it was a lot of fun. It also identified a few things that horrify me (objects embedded in the hands / eyes and anything to do with burns mostly). I got to relive my old Youth Theatre days by pretending to be an elderly man with a bad injury who was delirious with shock and I got to bandage people up.

Other than the improvised theatre practice, it also taught me something about learning. Anything you learn can potentially be useful to you as a writer. My First Aid lesson let me know a bit better how the body works and how it recovers. It identified a few urban myths. The new facts also inspired me to think about the level of health education and knowledge in my fantasy world. It also made me think about certain symptoms of injuries that are rarely touched on (bonk that man on the head to make him unconscious and that means he not only has concussion but there's a possibility that his position might make his tongue muscle relax and block his airway - meaning he suffocates to death).

So, not only is learning fun and useful for the original reasons (i.e. now I can do first aid!) but it also helped me as a writer. And this is also why I like my long bus trips to work, and working out of the back of a library, so many opportunities to borrow a book to learn something new. Fictional works teach me about techniques and perspectives (it makes sense that someone might view it like that - I never thought of that!) Non-fiction helps fill me up full of facts that might suggest new ideas, plug up plot holes, and simply get more educated.

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