Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Education is Neverending.

Many people are under the impression that once a degree (or two, or three) is had, it is time to stop using their grey matter. Like anything, if you don't use it, you lose it. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to stop learning, simply because you have that expensive piece of paper in your possesion. I read constantly, everything from science fiction to scientific literature, from romance to research. The subject is not necessarily as important as keeping my brain stimulated. I have an extremely vivid imagination (which has gotten me into some interesting situations, believe me! But, that is another post for another day!) and it needs to be exercised much like a dog needs to be taken out for a long run. My imagination however, even though it isn't always pure as the driven snow, is housebroken. I very rarely pick up a book and do not finish it, even if I hate it. I plan to refresh myself on subjects that I struggled with, as Connor gets close to learning them so that I can actually help him learn, as opposed to looking like a complete moron to my child. My mother learned algebra right along with me, because I struggled with it, and she took business math for secretaries when she was in school.

The blatant refusal by some people to learn anything at all, or pick up a book at any time other than during an extended stay in the bathroom is frustrating. I know big words, and I'm not afraid to use them. Unfortunately, I often end up needing to reexplain myself to people. Suffice it to say that many of the people who I work with fall into the anti-reading category. I would go as far as including hobbies under learning. Having a hobby, whether it is scrapbooking, gardening, sewing or pogo-sticking also stimulates the brain! Of course, how much you actively use your reasoning and comprehension skills, along with verbal and written language, and mathematics does depend on what you do in life. If you're a janitor for example, you don't necessarily have the practical need for algebra, or physics.

This brings me back to a conversation that I had with my fifteen year old sister recently. She asked what the point was of learning things that she doesn't like. I gave her the standard answer that I always heard - "You never know when you'll need it!" Well, that is true. I sat in the breakroom at work recently and helped a coworker with geometry homework. It took a little work, wringing the math out of my rusted steel trap of a mind... but once I reread the work I knew it well enough to explain it. I had a different coworker ask me to proofread their thesis. Word gets around, I suppose, about the time I took a red felt tip pen teacher-style to a manager's note to us associates. I gladly said yes, and that I charge money for that service. I don't know how many pages yet, but I'll figure out a cost per page. It is within the major that I studied in college, so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge. I'll have my style guide sitting here on the desk, though. I'm looking into going back to school. Maybe taking a course or two to get back in the habit before diving in gung-ho to finish getting a degree.

Whether it benefits me in the short term, or in the long term, continuing my education is a personal goal - and one that I believe should be far more popular.

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