I wrote about how most important subject matter is tedious and difficult, especially at the beginning. Kids complain that they don’t see the relevance, don’t see why they need to learn this stuff!
Colleen responded with some nice perspective:
At age 28 I finally think I understand why it is important to absorb and incorporate all of the information that is available… I would hear my professor talk about cells, intersitual fluid, membranes, transport systems, etc… In my job, at a hospital, I see it applied….Trig for example and sin and cosine. I look at the heart monitor… It has taken me a while to realize this but I can’t get enough.
There’s also a lot of satisfaction in learning difficult things for their own sake. It’s fun to feel my mind grasp hold of some piece of learning, like a tire slipping on ice and then finding traction.
Right now I’m trying to learn a few words of French, in preparation for a trip next month. I’m also reviewing a bunch of pretty random subject matter as I help students with their final exam prep this week, stuff like prepositional phrases and polar coordinates and balancing nuclear equations.
Really nerdy, I know!…but I enjoy learning these things. Each bit of quirky, esoteric information makes me appreciate the beautiful complexity of this planet we live on and reassures me that, with sufficient effort, we can understand and improve.
I also enjoy learning so much more now that I’m an adult. Like Colleen, I have more perspective and appreciation for how knowledge fits together and for its power.
What about you? Do you enjoy learning?…if so, what, and why?
beautiful machinery; photo of window mechanism at Ellis Island