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What to do after taking a jewelry-making class

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Note: This blog post is a part of our series “How to get the most out of a class.”

You're home. You've unpacked your supplies. The class was awesome, but you're still absorbing the teacher's words. Here are a few ways to remember everything you learned.

Write it down—again. When you get home after class, go through your notes while your memory is fresh. Sketch out anything that needs illustration, flesh out any shortcuts or abbreviations that you wrote quickly. Don’t think that you’ll understand it in a few months, or even a few days; memory fades quickly, especially if you’re in a show situation where you’re taking more than one class. By the time you get around to rereading your notes, they may look like some kind of weird, undecipherable code.

“Transcribe your notes, and add pictures. I do not always get the best value from a class because I was fatigued and didn’t transcribe my notes for later use. And when I arrived home, I had to make up some work from my day job and did not get the time to replicate and practice what I learned in class.” —Barbara Collins

Practice! Don’t look at the piece you made in class and judge yourself a failure. That single piece, after all, may comprise the sum total of your experience with this new technique. When you get home, pull out your notes, sit down at your bench, and review what you’ve learned. Make a commitment to make several pieces before looking back to assess your progress. After all, progress is measured only in the distance from one point to the next; it’s impossible to measure progress in only one point because there isn’t any to measure. 

“Imagine if a friend said, ‘I’m going to bake a batch of cookies and if it comes out fine, I will go on to be a chef. If not, I will never bake anything again.’ Most of us would recognize this as silly and quickly tell our friend to bake several batches of cookies and some pies and cakes, too, confident that there will be mistakes along the way and that each mistake will teach a lesson.” —Tim McCreight 

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