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Posts Tagged ‘discomfort

I had to kill some time at Orchard Road yesterday, so I made my way to the Apple store to get out of the heat. I did not know that there was a Today at Apple talk by Chen Zi Yue.

Zi Yue, also known as Angeline on Instagram, is a hearing-impaired illustrator.

I loved her life story so far. She was born deaf and failed in early schooling and speech therapy. But she was encouraged to draw by her mother.

Her illustration to embrace discomfort was inspiring. She quit full time work to freelance and learnt a lot outside the world of art as a result.

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Pleased to share with you this picture book, Enough! that tells the story of twenty protesters who changed America written by Emily Easton. On the cover, it is Tommie Smith and John Carlos who raised their fists in support of human rights on October 16, 1968 at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Delving deeper into the background of each protester and getting to know the full story had me inspired by how they persisted in fighting for what they believed despite of some losing their status, and ultimately making America a better place for the society to live in. I’m grateful to Nicole Heras, my Art Director and her team from Random House Children’s Books for having me on this meaningful project. Published by Crown Books and it was released today! I have ✨5 copies to give away✨ and if you’re keen to have it, please share with me on why you’d like to have it and I might pick you. 😊 *Closing giveaway on 28th Sept 2018* #picturebook #crownbooks #illustration #giveaway

A post shared by Angeline Chen (@ziyuechen) on

She is a successful book illustrator now by any measure. Her Instagram feed reveals other life milestones that are worth scrolling through.

My need to get out of the humid heat was serendipitous. Angeline’s story is a reminder on how important it is to embrace discomfort — this is the first step to learning. I will also be using her example in a course (ICT for Inclusion) that I will be facilitating in a few months time.

Routine. It is repeated, expected, and scheduled, so it feels safe. Just take as examples your typical commute to school or work, and once you are there, the mostly routine nature of schooling and work.

But therein lies the insidious harm of routine. Your brain switches off as you operate in autopilot. This is fine if you are a robot and your circumstances do not change. But you are a learning creature and learning is about responding to change.

Jedidiah Jenkins recognised this decided to make an extreme move. He quit his job and cycled from Oregon, USA, to the southern tip of South America.

Video source

From the blurb in the YouTube page and from the video:

When you’re a kid, everything is astonishing. Everything is new, and so your brain is awake and turned on … Once your brain establishes a routine, it stops … the alertness goes away

Once you’re an adult, that’s a choice… it’s about getting out of routine.

Routine is comforting, but too much of it is bad. It dulls your senses and it kills your joy for life.

Routine could also be the enemy of lifelong learning. It is the border wall that separates you from discovering and uncovering. It is the safe space that stops you from taking risks and embracing change.

But we do not have to do something as drastic as Jenkins. The key strategy to create discomfort or dissonance. We learn when we are pushed off balance and attempt to right ourselves or to go with the flow.

One way to learn like this is to read, watch, or listen to something everyday that challenges you. That is my routine: A routine of change.

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