The best statement I heard from a college professor was: “If I taught you how to learn I did my job.” It was not – “I taught you everything.” I don’t believe a person is capable of knowing everything. However, I do believe that people are capable of learning or learning how to learn.
A professor can teach you how to learn. It is your responsibility to decide what you want to learn. At one time, I wanted to learn everything. Finally, I realized I must make choices. Life does not provide the time luxury of knowing or understanding everything. Life requires choices. Not choosing to learn about something is still a choice.
Learning in Life
I quit college to learn how to work (make money). At the time, I felt I was lacking in that area. The only way to learn that thing (working and making money working) was to do it. I don’t feel like those learning experiences were any less valuable than the college experiences. But I do think that society views them as less valuable. I don’t understand why.
These have been my work observations. In my lifetime, women cost less to pay. Little did the men know that women received some sort of education all of their lives even though it may not have been formal. Better formal education for a woman did not always (or even usually) mean a higher-paying job than a man with more or less education. Bucking the work system got you nowhere quickly. Well, I tended to buck the system a lot. These have been my observations throughout my life. Other people may have seen things differently. I can’t say how the younger generation does things. I don’t know.
“I Spent (-) Years Learning, I Should Know About ____”
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the learning doesn’t end in school. It’s a lifelong process. If you have stopped learning, you probably stopped breathing. And I’m not so sure learning ends there.
A story about Eleanor Roosevelt helps us learn by living:
A Formal Education Is Wonderful, But Education Does Not End There
The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know everything. You learn that you will most likely never be able to learn everything. You can, however, become an expert in your field. But you also realize eventually that your expertise has little to do with X years of education and more to do with you.
I knew a man once who ran his own very successful business. He did not know how to read or write. How did he do it? I don’t know. He just did. He didn’t teach how he did it. He worked hard to hide the fact that he could not read or write. That was societies loss, not his.
I also knew a man that was upset because he couldn’t understand why he had been given something very valuable. He had been taught that he was worthless because he couldn’t read or write. A quick memory demonstration showed that his memory was amazing, possibly because of his lack of formal education. But society had taught him that he was worthless. Why?
My son learned how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. I was proud that, even though he had his college degree, he had not stopped learning. His father and I were amazed, but we both knew that it was something we would never take the time to learn. But what amazed me, even more, was that his young son, at six, was already trying to follow in his dad’s footsteps. He couldn’t solve the Rubik’s Cube yet, but he was trying. It doesn’t matter if the youngster ever learns how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. What mattered was his interest.
What Did I Learn in That Teacher’s Class
So, this teacher, who “taught me to learn”, taught communication. I learned that it’s hard to understand people when they hesitate. I learned that it’s ok if people laugh at you. At least they are responding to your communication. If you don’t want people to laugh, find another way to communicate.
Our homework consisted of verbal and nonverbal assignments. I learned that our entire environment communicates to us. During our final presentation, I sat in this amazing white tube that a student was blowing air into. It communicated a sort of serenity. This was the type of serenity I felt when Dad flew above the clouds. I had been learning all my life!