Learning Project Musings

The past few weeks I have been thinking about my major project for EC&I 831. I have decided to go with Option B: Based on the idea that individuals are now more able to learn and share online, you will choose something significant that you would like to learn, and you will share your progress openly in an online space. The ‘something’ might be an instrument, a language, a sport or almost anything that requires more than a few hours of effort. 

But the thing I am terrible at is deciding what the “something” is that I should learn about. So, I decided to use Instagram to get some help:

Here are the (unfiltered!) responses I received:

I learned something: I should have been way more specific with how I worded my initial question. I shouldn’t have said I need “something to learn about” but rather I need to “learn to do something” AND I also shouldn’t have said “it can literally be anything”. Some people took that way too literally. As you can see, the credible and feasible suggestions are limited in number.

To be fair, I did receive a couple more legitimate suggestions in my DMs.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

Option #1: I LOVE photography. I am obsessed. I have taken two photography classes so I know a bit about photography and I am really interested in post-processing programs (I use Lightroom and Photoshop). But here’s the thing. I’m not confident in photographing or post-processing. Sometimes I take cool pictures (IMO) and sometimes I can’t figure out the settings to take the picture I want.

COOL PICTURE – Horseshoe Canyon near Page, AZ
Cute dog but not a good photograph – lighting is tricky and I don’t know what to do about it.

So, I could spend my learning project working on improving my photography skills. Here are some ways I can do this:

  • In-depth review of the print material from my photography classes.I haven’t spent any time looking at this and I think it would really help. This review, coupled with the practice that would go along with it, would take a considerable number of hours.
  • Take another photography workshop like this one with Ali Lauren Photography based in Regina and Lumsden.
  • Explore the DSLR Manual Mode video tutorials (shown in above Insta DM photo) offered by a photographer friend (we used to work together during my undergrad).
  • Connect with other photographers via social media platforms such as Instagram or VSCO.
  • Explore YouTube tutorials on photography and Lightroom.

Now for something COMPLETELY different….

Option #2: Become a birth doula. I have been obsessed with all things pregnancy, birth and beyond for a number of years and getting to experience it all with the arrival of my daughter earlier this spring has further solidified my passion for this area of study. AND I have wanted to become a doula for a long time! I used to want to be an obstetrician or labour and delivery nurse!

Women’s health as it relates to pregnancy, birth and beyond is an under-researched and under-represented field (Garbes, A., 2018, Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy). You can also check out this article about how gender bias has skewed biomedical knowledge if you are interested in this topic. The reason I bring this up is because during my pregnancy, I was constantly searching for information online and most often was met with minimal, vague or ambiguous results for the questions I had. In becoming a doula and educating myself further about the topics indicated above, I can be a support person others.

Here are some ways I can do this:

  • Take a birth doula training workshop on Nov. 15-17 (18 hours) through Birth Ways International. This 18 hours does not include working through the pre-workshop material. The topics of this workshop include:

  • Read/view and review books, blogs and other media related to doulas, pregnancy, birth, postpartum.
  • Connect with other doulas and pregnancy, birth and other related professionals through social media.
  • Interview doulas in Regina or on social media to learn more about the doula role/experience.

For both options, I would create an Instagram account to document my learning in addition to blogging about my learning project.

Things to Consider:

  • Photography is the less expensive of my two options. I have all the “stuff” already wheres doula training costs $495. But…I will eventually do the doula training anyway so I’m going to spend the money at some point.
  • The majority of the doula training will take place on one weekend with learning via books and other media platforms taking place weekly in order for me to blog / post on Instagram about. Does it matter that a major part of the project will take place on one weekend? I’m not sure..

This is the extent of my thinking so far…I welcome your feedback on one or both of my options!

9 thoughts on “Learning Project Musings

  1. Your options are SO different, but both are so great! If you already plan on taking the Doula training, now might be a good time to do it. However, will it feel too overwhelming on top of school? Or is it something that you are passionate about and will actually enjoy, so that it won’t actually feel like extra work? I love the idea of taking your process to Instagram. If you do your second option, you could teach everyone so much about the doula process and give your followers more insight about it. I would definitely follow along! I can’t wait to see what you decide. Good luck! 🙂

  2. What great ideas you’ve got!!! Isn’t it hard to decide when literally the sky is the limit? Having a bit of experience in photography, I think would make it easier to master the skill. If you are a traveller, having the ability to take professional pictures would be nice. Being a doula can be rewarding and challenging as well. If you really want to become a doula sooner or later, I also feel time should not be wasted.

    Can’t wait to find out which route you pick. Good luck! 🙂

  3. I LOVE that you asked your followers for suggestions! I loved that idea so much I also asked my Instagram followers for suggestions – my followers’ suggestions weren’t nearly as entertaining as yours but they had way better ideas than I did!
    I think you have a great start with either option – both would require time commitments and extensive learning but will be very rewarding for you. I agree with Riley, Dean, and Catherine in that the doula option would be very exciting and interesting to follow along with! However, I understand that the doula option comes with a pretty hefty cost so that may not be the most feasible option for this course. Photography has never-ending opportunities and if you already have the tools and materials then that is a great place to start.
    I’m looking forward to following your learning journey!

  4. I 100% vote for #2! I am probably a little biased, but I think because that is the world I am living in right now. I think it’s so important to have an advocate for moms-to-be in our healthcare system. Plus, think of all the ways you could connect with families through social media. I love it!

  5. The craft beer from the first go at suggestions sounded good to me (I almost changed my own project after seeing that haha). Looks like you are in a win-win situation here. Seems like you have a head start and a knack for photography and it would be interesting to see you expand your skills there (I enjoy photography as well and even had to teach it last year – learned a lot especially from the students). I agree with Riley and it seems you might be ready for that challenge and it would definitely be unique. If you have the time, funds, and energy I’d say go for your duola idea. Or do both take pictures of being a doula 🙂 Thank for sharing. What ever you do will be great and I’m looking forward to following your adventure.

  6. What interesting options you have! The Instagram responses made me laugh out loud–you have some funny followers.

    I’m by no means a photographer, but the more I’ve learned about it, the less I feel like I know. It seems like you know a great deal, but still want to learn more. I think that’s a hallmark of being passionate about something! I like how you have already enumerated the options you have for accomplishing this goal – it seems like you could be on your way tomorrow if you wanted to be.

    The second option was really unexpected, but I think it’s great. Personally, when given a standard option and a more off-the-beaten-path one, I think the latter is often the best choice. Because you’re so obviously excited about the doula stuff, I think you should go for it! I’d likely follow your progress more closely simply because I’d be curious too!

    All the best,


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