Friday, November 21, 2014

Past the Classroom

I know I frequently fall outside of the general norms so this may fall into that same category, but for many years I have found myself reflecting on past education - various classes, assignments, and teachers' critical teachings efforts. Sometimes this means I wish I could go back and add better insights to papers long since graded and forgotten. Sometimes it means I finally understand what the professor was getting at and I wish I could go back and tell them so.

The desire, the drive, to learn, to understand more fully, has always been core to my personality. I had not realized quite how much until a conversation with my grandmother during which she related a memory of when they came to visit. Her relayed memory was one shared to her by my grandfather. I was 6. We had been outside - he working to fix the window of their vehicle, and me keeping company. Apparently I had been a standard child and was asking questions about everything. This does not surprise me. In exasperation, he returned with, "Will you stop asking so many questions?!" I burst into giggles of delight when my grandmother relayed my reply. "But how am I supposed to learn anything if I can't ask questions?"

I would, admittedly, be perfectly happy being a career student. My bank account disagrees with tuition prices and my dysautonomia disagrees with pretty much everything, so the Bachelor's Degree I worked so hard to attain may well prove the top limit to my formalized education. That does not mean, however, that it is the end of my learning. There are many resources readily available to those who open themselves to the idea that there is always more you can learn. I have noticed that many opportunities don't appear as learning opportunities, but I think you will be surprised if you start watching for them. It could be in observing how someone performs a skill. It could be a random tidbit of information hidden in a conversation. It could be a link on social media to something you don't know much about. It is often found simply by being interested in life, people, and the world around you.

All knowledge gained fills in the great abstract construct that is my understanding which allows comprehending of further truth and the applications of truths and the ability to intuit patterns even before they are fully expressed. Others have skill for memorization which gives them direct recall to important information. Skills come in many forms: physical, theoretical, applied, creative, social, organizational, motivational, educational, etc... I challenge you to consider yourself past the classroom. Bring that learning with you, but add to it and find out more about people around you and how the world works. Let your mind pick at thoughts as they come and go and consider new applications to them. Allow the excitement of new discover sink deep and you will find that life is far from the 'boring' that so many think it to be.

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