Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Higher Learning

When did learning stop being fun? Why does self improvement end at a 4.0 GPA?

There was a long span of my education where all I cared about was the bottom line. What do I need to do to graduate? What do I need to know to pass the test? And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Then I started to become passionate about something... Atheism, for those at home. After I lost my faith, I wasn't really sure how the world worked. I knew general information about evolution and physics, but there was no way I could defend my worldview. So I started to read...

First I read about atheism. Then I read about evolution and astronomy. I read blogs, articles, and books. Now I have 2 economic books waiting in the queue. Unfortunately, it takes me quite a while to get through a book.

I found that gaining an understanding of the world was very enjoyable. I remembered why I went into the computing field in the first place. I wanted to learn how computers worked. Of course, I was mostly interested in how video games worked when I first began.

The point is that this thirst for learning was not inspired by my teachers. We never care about what we are learning, just that we have to know it. I guess I wish that more emphasis was placed on the concepts and less on the grades. I wish we were taught how to discover the world and not just a list of formulas.

I'm not sure what the solution is. I just think it's a shame when people get turned off to learning because they aren't good at taking tests.

1 comment:

  1. wow, these comments got spammed...

    You know, I was wondering why all of a sudden I was more interested in learning than when it was actually my job to be learning. I had chalked it up to age... Then I thought, maybe it's because our goal with learning hasn't been to enrich our lives, but to pass the test so we can get A's, go to college and get a good job. No one ever really taught us that the basic things we learn are really interesting and useful beyond exam day... or maybe they did, but I was 17 or so and didn't really care. Which brings us back to age.

    Besides a lot of science books, I've really been getting into history a lot. I swear, all I read nowadays is nonfiction. If you want to read some interesting and humorous history, Sarah Vowell is where it's at.