I am amazed at how many people I know who have gone on to study more than me. A Masters degree is something I never contemplated. Often people have asked me if I plan to study more. “Oh no! Am done with all the studying I could possibly want to ever do”, is my weary reaction. It’s been my reaction for many years now.
The irony of life is how our responses change if you allow yourself to notice it. Recently, I was in a meeting in my office where this really intelligent person was busy whiteboarding complicated diagrams and algorithms. Half an hour into this meeting I found myself smiling. Learning new things wasn’t bad at all. I almost missed studying. Almost.. not enough to make me wish to go back to school except perhaps to enjoy the summer and winter holidays.
In school I had no problem concentrating. I was a diligent first bencher. Note taking and concentrating were 2nd nature. In college, I started to get distracted. Marriage, work, growing up and life added to the distraction. It is at a point where studying even for a job interview feels impossible and highly daunting.
The closest I have come to yearning to study more is when I started to write. I don’t have a formal degree in English, but how I long to have read English Literature. Poetry by Milton, heroes brought to life by Byron. The wonder and magic of how masterpieces are born.
A friend of mine shared a podcast about this scandalous summer in history when Frankenstein was born. Would a lecture on Shelly in an English Literature course be as thrilling? I found another podcast (all by myself) about the finer details of J. R. R. Tolkien’s work. I could learn all about Hobbit habitat while walking my dog. On TheGreatCoursesPlus website I found an excellent grammar course. From Parts of Speech to usage of quotes the series covered such a lot that I was forced to take notes and discover I hadn’t forgotten to concentrate after all.
I know people who love Youtube videos (an Eg. or a pretty great video) on a staggering range of topics from cooking to Chess. There is Craftsy if you always wished to learn Origami. Or Coursera for the dormant photographer in you or if you dare the Machine Learning Futurist too.
So why am I rambling about all this? When I smiled in office that day, I realized I might be apprehensive of derailing my life for further formal (and god forbid boring) education, but learning is exciting. And we haven’t even touched on all the learning we do through the experiences we gather. That topic is for another day. Right now am off to read about Dante’s Divine Comedy (because it feels like a very intellectual thing to do).
Note to self – Never ever give up learning..