The activity last week was really, really helpful. I realized it wasn’t necessarily what was on the syllabus but being able to practice different phases of inquiry were really helpful! I didn’t realize exactly how helpful until this past weekend. I was working through some landscaping issues with my dad and being very conscious of what questions I asked and how I asked them really made a difference for both of us. What is usually a very trying task for us became much more interesting and downright fun!
One of the things I focused on was to ask questions before making judgements or offering my opinion. It was very tempting to just offer an opinion since it’s my yard and my money going into the landscaping. But, my dad is a professional horticulturist. We talked through his suggestions so that I could understand more about WHY he made the suggestion rather than just focusing on the proposed plant, tree, bush, etc. It also made me more conscious about how to respond. Rather than just a “I don’t like that” or “That’s not what I want it to look like”, I could respond with “I see what you are saying about the shade, but I don’t want to clean up any fruit that drops to the ground all summer.”
The best part was that my dad felt a lot better about helping. First, it made our time together more enjoyable. Second, I’m more likely to get his help again in the future!