The Art of Learning

5 May 2019

I learn because I cannot imagine a world where we accept life as it hits us. I cannot imagine a world with no questions, no curiosity, no eureka moment of discovery. Such a place does not, and should not, ever exist. That moment of clarity before understanding, that itch to jump off as you stand on the edge of comprehension are experiences I never wish to give up. Learning is a part of who I am, as much as my hair is blonde and my eyes are brown. To take that away would be to erase my identity as an individual.

Learning enhances our experiences more than anything else ever could. Movies, television shows, books, and overheard conversations all become gateways for information, one interest sparking another and another in an endless cycle. It is more than sitting in classrooms for eight hours a day, listening and waiting and repeating. Learning is present in every aspect of life, and, once I realised that, my world opened up.

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Crime dramas on Tuesday nights turned intoforensic science classes over the summer. Science fiction novels became articles on astronomy and the available technology for bionic limbs. Behind-the-scene extras morphed into documentaries on the process of filmmaking and stage production. It is, at its very core, society’s greatest chain reaction.

With a mother as a retired teacher, education has always had an important place in my life, but I never fully appreciated it until I grew to appreciate learning. Suddenly, classes were more than speeches and assignments and projects at the end of the year: they were opportunities. And, as I am never one to let said opportunities go to waste, I grabbed ahold and never let go. Learning is discovery, I found out, and the journeyis sometimes even more eye-opening than the destination itself. I crave an environment where this is understood and celebrated, where there is no shame in asking questions and wanting to know more.

There is far too much in this world for me to ever learn all of it, but I can try, and that is what truly matters. In my opinion, it is better to be knowledgeable in many areas than it is to focus solely on one subject. But, because I am not omniscient, I have to settle on learning as much as possible for as long as possible. I do not want to stop taking in information after classes are dismissed. I do not want to end my education with high school or college. I will ask questions when I am eighty and seek answers until my dying day. I will live my life in a constant state of ‘why’ and ‘how’, and the rest, as they say, will follow.

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