The popularity of Masterclasses has increased in recent years and although I have never really enrolled for one, I am well acquainted with the concept.
A masterclass is a lesson where someone who is an expert at something such as dancing or music gives advice to a group of good students. Masterclasses usually take place in public or are broadcast on television.
Masterclasses began in the 1950s and usually had to do with music. These classes were taught by experts to only a select few and could sometimes be pricey. However, registering for a masterclass is not an automatic indication that something will be learned and if we look around us, we will find lessons taught to us by people who are experts in what they do without formally enrolling in a class. In 2019, I got some lessons for free and I will share some here for free.
When I initially moved house in 2018, the shower in my en-suite room was functioning very well. However, over the last year, the shower never seemed to be working maximally and the drop of pressure meant that I did not enjoy my bath time as I used to. After some time, I got frustrated and started having to use a pail to bring water into the bathroom. Severally in the midst of this inconvenience, I considered the thought of calling the relevant authorities to fix the problem but kept postponing this. I do not know why I delayed but one day, after I felt I had had enough(the handle of my pail had broken), I called the maintenance team and following deliberations, an appointment was made to assess the problem. This was carried out by a plumber and a date for repair was fixed.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I returned home one day, to find out that not only had my shower head been replaced, but the whole bathroom was changed. And all this happened because I decided to do something about a situation that had nearly become normal. How many other things in my life have I left, that could change for the better if I only just do something different! This was a big lesson for me but I did not realize there was a bigger one coming.
I was instructed not to use the new bathroom for 24 hours so that it would be finally inspected by the plumber. This gave me the privilege of meeting the plumber since I was at home that day. It was then I received my second lesson.
You see prior to this time, there were two switches on the wall outside the bathroom. There was one (switch A ) that controlled the lightning which was well within reach and another switch (B) which I felt controlled the extractor fan. This other switch was about 7 inches above the door frame and I always had to stretch to put it off after I used the bathroom. I erroneously thought this was what controlled and stopped the irritating buzzing sound of the extractor fan every time I turned it off.
But when the plumber came to inspect the work, he only used the main light switch button. I then tried to lecture him that the extractor fan would need to be turned off using the higher switch button. He explained to me that that was not the case and that the sound would stop in a few seconds, without having to reach up to the top switch B. I did not think it was any good to argue that this was the way I had been doing it for the past year but sure enough, in a few seconds, the extractor fan noise ceased. He looked at me with that I told you so look which I humbly acknowledged.
When he left, I pinched myself as I realized that I had just learned another life lesson- the importance of learning from the wisdom of someone who already knows. This is what happens in a Masterclass- an expert teaching. Just a brief encounter with that plumber revealed the folly of my stretching to this switch button B that was high up on the wall, almost twice on a daily basis for over a year. I confess that there were times that I thought that whoever designed that switch was not fair but, behold it was my ignorance.
Irrespective of the persuasiveness of advertisements, not all of us will register for Masterclasses but this should not deprive us of the several learning opportunities around us.
Reiterating my lessons above, this year, we should not be afraid to do something different if we want a different experience and even in doing something different, we should not forget that the experience of someone else can save us some time and money. It is our willingness to admit we may be wrong that lays a foundation in which we can learn.
So as we face the challenges to come in this year, let us never cease to use the opportunities to take advantage of Masterclasses, whether we formally enroll or not.
Have a great 2020.