Let Outdoor Learning Inspire YouOctober 20, 2015

Matthew Bell must be honored for inspiring his students. The geography teacher from North Cestrian Grammar School spent his six-week holidays far from England. He has been to 55 countries, taking photos and writing stories along the way. And he would share those images and tales with his students.

"I've been lucky enough to go to Berlin, New York, Egypt and South Africa, all kickstarted by that one trip I had when I was about 14," former student Melissa Jackson said.

Learning doesn't have to be confined within the four walls of the classroom. In fact, outdoor learning can beat desktop studying. If you happen to struggle with motivation, then you need to look out. And if you're a BA English major student, then you should know that loafing can be most productive to you. Here are some tips:

Time to open the window. There's a reason why you must clean the window now and then. A lovely view will inspire you. If you don't have time for a stroll, then stretch your legs and observe the red and orange and yellow. You can feel the cool air. It might tempt you to close the window, but don't. Remember every detail, which you can include in your next paper.

Do the Gump. Tom Hanks played Forrest Gump, who would tell his story to anyone who sat beside him. But you don't have to imitate him. Go out, find a bench, and savor the scenery. You shouldn't worry yourself over lost time, as an idea will come to mind. (It will dawn on you that writers don't rest at all.) Besides, the cold air and the sun might do you good. A paperback can be a good companion.

Take another look at the landmarks. If you live in the city, then you'll be curious about the places of interest. Unless you are born to wander, then these spots won't interest you. Better stop and have a look. Times Square can excite you. Big Ben will make you speechless. It can also be a statue of a figure you hardly know, until a closer inspection reveals the Dog on the Tuckerbox. Museum is another option, but many students don't go there. Go around, ask for direction, and let the unfamiliar path be a good opportunity to explore your surrounding.

Into the woods. If the forest isn't far and away, then don't have second thoughts. The low light, the long shadow, and the familiar sound of insects will prompt you to open your notebook and describe this captivating setting. And it will be better to bring your mates for camping. You might pen a short story a few days later.

Nothing like the beach. This is probably the best place for musing. You can recite your favourite poem, while getting a tan. Not old English, which may elicit strange looks from visitors. Nothing to worry if you opt for a sun-kissed day, frolicking in the sea for hours. You'll forget everything, momentarily. And then different ideas come to mind later.

Do you have other suggestions? Let us know.

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