Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Let's Talk Classes and Projects

I'm lifting this idea from Rinda because I've been going round in circles in my head lately with thoughts about classes and projects, what to keep, what to let go, when and how you know it is time to "move on"...

So I've said this before, but let me start by saying it again... Hello. My name is Cheri and I am an online class junkie. This is the part where you respond with "Hello Cheri" and then possibly admit that you also suffer from online class addiction. Just so I don't have to feel so alone in this world. My ability to "just say NO" when a fun or intriguing new class comes along is pretty much non-existent. Resistance is futile. I will eventually cave. Some classes really excite and intrigue me, some classes I feel I should take because I have a need to know about the material being presented, and some classes just sound like fun and I join in because I don't want to be left out of what all my blog friends are doing.

But here's the problem. I'm truly over-extended. I sign up for more than I can possibly fully participate in, given that I also have the duties and obligations of a full time employee, wife, mother, and homemaker. Does any of this sound familiar?
Summer Project/Plans?  4 out of 8 completed (items 1, 6, 7, and 8). 50% was never my style.
In looking back at my class lists on Big Picture Classes, Shimelle, Jessica Sprague, and other sites, I realize that I have a fair number of classes where I never finished all of the content. And several that I never even started. This past summer I was signed up for Ali Edwards "Hello Story" class.  I listened to the content for about 3 of the 12 weeks. I did not do a single one of the assignments. Of course, it is there for me to go back to at any time. If and when I ever make the time.

My first completed assignment for Jessica's Sprague's frame class - I only got through 3 out of 10 days.
In addition to the host of partially completed online classes, I have a plethora of partially completed scrapbooking projects. Theme albums, kids albums, folders full of ideas and memorabilia just waiting to be attended to.
And it is all making me feel kind of guilty and less-than right now. 
So, I've been thinking a lot lately about the classes and projects that I take on each year. I'm wondering if I still want or need to be doing year long classes like Move More, Eat Well or One Little Word? What about repeating classes like Learn Something New Every Day or Journal Your Christmas?  Have I gotten what I need out of them and maybe it is time to move on and not feel like I have the obligation of keeping up with them? Do I let them go, or continue to use them for accountability to myself? I had every intention of participating in LSNED this year. I never got past jotting down lessons for the first week.

And what about new classes? Should I put a temporary ban on new classes? Should I set up a schedule for getting through old classes that I never finished (or never even started)??? Obviously, I have some real soul searching to do on this topic.
Because someday I want to be able to laugh at this ornament.
Now it is your turn. How do you handle online classes and ongoing or unfinished projects? Do you have limits on what you sign up for each year? How do you decide which classes get your money and time? What do you do with classes that you signed up for and projects that you started but didn't finish?

15 comments:

Alison said...

I have to say that I'm getting better at saying 'no'......though in saying that I've just signed up for Sue Althouse's class 'PERFECT YOUR SCRAPBOOK PROCESS' over at Creative Passion!!
Alison xx

Candace said...

I love BPC because you have life-time access. We moved 3 times this summer so I am very behind in my classes. Have decided to not sign up for another class this year....well maybe one. I hate it when some classes sound interesting but then are not.

scrappyjacky said...

Your post really resonates with me,Cheri.....I sign up for far too many classes....and have far too many unfinished as well.....and even one or two unstarted!!
I really should set a limit of NO MORE until I've finished the ones I've already got....but I know if another Shimelle class comes along I won't be able to resist....and to be fair....even when I don't finish one of her classes I still get a hell of a lot of scrapbooking done en route.....and I do often return to unfinished classes to do a bit more.
I've decided year long classes aren't for me.....I just lose interest and motivation too soon.
Price always has a bearing as well...I've never signed up for an expensive class....and like to feel the class is real value for money.
The only class I repeat is Journal your Christmas....and I actually really enjoy doing that each year.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

For a while I found myself signing up for several online classes, but like you mentioned, I never felt like I fully participated in the classes and in some cases, never even finished the content. I find that I have so many obligations in my day-to-day existence that the online class format isn't worth the money, or me stressing about what I've paid for and in turn am not utilizing. It's hard sometimes to see my blog friends participating in classes that interest me - makes me think I'd like to be in the class along side of them - but then I remind myself that it's just one more thing for me to keep track of. I'm on a kick of keeping it simple, and filling in the free time if/when it comes to me with projects I already have waiting for me around my craft room.

helena said...

I have no guilt in walking away from unfinished online classes - if the approach or content doesn't grab me then I stop and I try hard to remember that their approach doesn't work for me the next time that person offers a class.

Miriam said...

I'ts memes I have problems with! There are so many I want to do and I get overwhelmed. When it comes to classes I limit myself to what interests me, I don't take many and I hardly ever post about them if I do. I do have a box of PHD's but they are mostly paper or sewing projects. It is hard when there is so much 'out there' but someone once told me you have to live life before you can scrap it/write about it/photograph it.

Karen said...

Like you I have several unfinished classes, and a couple of classes I never really started. I've been better about not signing up, but caved on two this summer. One I've done completely and enjoyed (a review is coming on the blog), but I chose to only do the content, and stayed off the message boards for the most part. I know that diminishes my learning but time has been too short this summer. The other class I haven't even begun, and I won't get to it until November at the earliest.

I keep a list of the unfinished classes and know I'll go back to nearly all of them this winter. I don't sign up for any class anymore unless it has life time access. I didn't even open one email for LSNED this year. Like Jackie I do the Christmas Journal every year and love that project. I'm taking a new approach this year and I think it will work well.

Sian said...

A great read today Cheri. When I started scrapbooking, I was so keen to learn that I signed up for lots of classes and I did learn a lot. And that's where I met all of my scrapbooking friends. But because I enjoy doing my own scrapping thing now I don't feel the same urge. I never worried too much about getting a class finished because I was happy enough if I met a few people and picked up any tips that really spoke to me.

Barbara Eads said...

I have a real thirst for knowledge and sign up for too many classes myself. I usually fall behind pretty quickly due to travel schedules. What has worked for me is to print out the pdf files and read them at my leisure with a highlighter at hand. I take them on long car rides or plane rides. When I get home, I try a few ideas or techniques from the handouts. I no longer sign up for lengthy classes and have instituted a couple of new rules for myself. The teacher must be someone I love and admire and it must be $25. or less. Another thing that I did this summer that was a lot of fun was to get a friend to take a class with me. We set dates, took the classes while together and did the projects together too. We had a lot of fun and really felt like we got the most out of the class. We might do that again sometime.

MonicaB said...

I'm in the same boat as you Cheri. I have so many classes that I didn't finish or start. I told myself that I wasn't going to sign up for any more classes until I finish the ones that I already paid for, well that didn't work. I signed up for 3 classes and haven't done anything except listen to a few of the videos.

My plan is to figure out what classes I'm still interested in and try to plan them into my schedule. If the class doesn't appeal to me anymore than I'm going to move on with no regrets.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for writing this post, Cheri. (I'm so glad I reentered Blogland in time to read it; it's always nice to know there is someone in the same boat as you.) I spent some time organizing our spare (aka junk) room yesterday, and it was like uncovering the bones of all these dead projects. I often sign up for classes because I feel like it will push me to scrapbook more than I do normally, and while that's usually true for a few weeks - or days - I always wind up feeling badly about yet another unfinished project. So for me, I'm on a class hiatus until I finish up (or decide to completely abandon, in some cases) all these "loose ends." I think one of the reasons I take unintentional blog hiatuses, too, is because reading blogs sometimes makes me feel, at least subconsciously, that I'm not productive enough - I didn't cook enough, craft enough, write enough - and it adds to the paralyzing pressure that I sometimes feel when looking at class galleries. Regarding unfinished projects, I'm going to first decide what I truly want to finish and not feel obligation to any of them, because I know for me, sometimes a project that once had great appeal loses its attraction after time. I think it's also important not to let past projects impede the ability to capture and document the present. When I do finally decide to take on a new class/project, I'm going to allow myself more time than the normal expectation since I have proven to myself over and over again that it takes me longer to reach the finish line. I hope you find a balance that works for you and makes you happy, Cheri, and don't forget all the amazing projects you HAVE finished!

Starnitesky said...

Cheri - a thought provoking post. I am the same I have many unfinished classes, I do find with the year long ones it is difficult to keep motivated. I signed up for Eat Less, Move More and injured my back so was unable to keep going due to my (now permanent) back problem, I have a couple of Jessica Sprague classes which I have not started, the fact that the classes are there forever makes me feel I haven't wasted my money. Like you I need to say No to myself. I hope you will find a balance, you do some lovely work and I always look forward to seeing it.

Paper Pile Kitten said...

If it's a class that I really want to take, I sign up even if I know I won't have time to participate when the class is live. The most important thing for me is that I have lifetime access to a class, just because I know I'll need it! LOL! But I like to have this huge 'library' of classes to tap into whenever I need some inspiration or want try out a technique. So, I'm accepting my 'class addiction' and just roll with it. :D

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great post! And I've really enjoyed all the responses. I am getting much better at NOT signing up for classes and especially NOT paying for classes. There's so many free classes that I'm much more likely to buy those. I still have a lot of guilt about an expensive PSE class I bought and have never completed. Maybe i can find it . . .
I think I'm going to do a December Daily this year, instead of Journal YOur Christmas.
Rinda

alexa said...

Great post and it has been really interesting reading all the responses. I enjoy online classes because there are so many things I am interested in and want to learn - I tend not to take project-based classes but sign up for skills classes. I am not taking any more for the next year, because I am going to finish learning everything I have paid up for so far! I may still do things like The December Daily but I don't really think of things like this as a class...