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A Learning Experience

I’m about to graduate in four days. With this realization has come inspiration. I am finished with finals, with classes, with institutionalized learning (for now), and the only thing between me and my diploma is four days. If to attend school is to learn, then does not being in school suggests a lack of learning? No. I don’t think so. In fact, now that the impetus of learning is solely my responsibility, there is greater satisfaction assigned to it.

I should insert an ‘aside‘ here to explain my fascination with learning. As humans, we are continuously learning, intentionally or not. As a child, we touch a stove, burn our hand, get chastised by our parents for our own safety. Lesson learned. As an adolescent, we listen to our friends, go to a party, drink too much, end up in the hospital getting our stomach pumped. Lesson learned. As a young adult, we socialize in our new college setting, disregard our homework, flunk a test, fail the class and end up with a lower GPA than needed for grad school. Lesson learned. Even as an adult, we enter the workplace, try to impress the boss, realize she hates any sort of ingratiation, lose favor with said boss. Lesson learned.

Now, those are natural learning experiences. Action leads to consequence, which leads to correction. Sometimes we don’t always make it to the part of the experience that actually results in learning (subsequent correction) until further down the road, but that, too, is part of the process. However, the learning I am referring to is intentional learning. The search to identify what you do not know. The desire to become knowledgeable about more than your small circle of existence. The eventual ability to converse with a broad spectrum of individuals about a broad spectrum of subjects. I admit, most days I’d rather sleep till 12pm, watch Hulu, eat and then waste away the evening with my friends. What a wonderful, simple life. But for some reason, this fails to satisfy.

Because it is more than the cliche of “knowledge is power.” Knowledge is connection. Connection with yourself, as you explore your interests and challenge your beliefs to become a stronger you. Connection with others, as you are introduced to a world beyond your own and realize all you can learn from others’ thoughts and experiences.

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius

This is why I refuse to stop learning.

For those who care – a list of areas I’ve been looking into (books, websites, etc):

Religion & Faith

*Please note that I do not necessarily agree with all that is encapsulated in these writings, but in order to know what you believe, you must also know what you do not believe.

Music

*A few bands that I have been listening to as of late to become an even more eclectic lover of music. Definitely not an exhaustive list of all the music I listen to, but some recent additions to my music library.

Literature

*Because nothing will ever replace the enjoyment and knowledge that is gained from simply reading a good book.

Quotes

*Because some quotes are actually worth your time

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