Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: Life Long Learning

Friday, February 18, 2011

Life Long Learning

Recently I overheard a student ask one of the associates in my room if teacher's had teachers. As I worked with another student at my table I kept one ear on the conversation that my other student was having with the associate. In an arrogant and exaggerated voice the associate replied, "No, we know everything already!"
My eavesdropping kept me thinking for quite some time. My mind wandered into the mind of my 1st grader and made me think about how a child’s mind works. My mind wandered into the mind of my associate and I thought of how sometimes adults don't take the time to help kids understand their thoughts on the world.
I also thought back to my early years of college when I was unsure whether I wanted to take the road less traveled or the safe route where the streets were lit. One night, as I was trying to fall asleep in my dorm room, I remember thinking up a brilliant plan. At that point in my school career, I enjoyed learning and had found the study skills that made me successful. I relished in the feeling of new knowledge and applying it to areas of my life and making connections that I had never thought of before. As my eyes grew heavier, my foggy mind decided that I would become a life long learner.
The plan went as follows: I would pitch my idea to the government and they would quickly be on board. The government would IQ test me from the point I was currently at-a high school education. They then would pay me to attend college classes for the rest of my life. They would choose some of my courses and I would choose some. I would attend universities and private colleges all over the world. Every 5 years they would IQ test me to see how my IQ has changed. At the end of my life long learning career they would IQ test me one more time and compare my IQ to that of the smartest person known in the United States. The ending result would be a conclusion to the study of does keeping your brain actively learning new criteria continually increase your IQ score?
Of course I woke up in the morning feeling a bit shameful of my thinking. Fantasizing has been something I have always done, just like the little boy Ralphie on the movie "The Christmas Story". I knew that deep in my heart I wanted to be a teacher and that was the road I would decide to travel.
Again this eavesdropped conversation came back to mind the other day when I was shopping with a good friend. The topic of conversation is forgotten now, but something triggered my memory of the fantasy of my early college years and I shared it with her. She laughed but said that she agrees that it would probably be a good thing to have our minds in a constant state of exercise. If you think about it, this is so true! Just as our bodies need exercise and nourishment to stay healthy and strong, our minds need exercise to stay healthy and strong.
As I wrapped my mind around all of this, I looked back at some of my oldest blogs. My mind was younger still with fresh knowledge in it and that shows in my writing. My writing had a higher quality to it back in 2007 when I started my blog. It is time to make a change, for my own self-worth. I plan on looking into to taking a class. I know that classes are expensive and I will have to convince my husband, but I yearn to have that feeling of crisp new knowledge in my mind—a unique perspective on things. What type of class should I take? I considered a teaching class towards my masters. This possibility isn't out of the question, but to take a graduate level course, I either have to do independent study, ICN, or plan on traveling as well as paying a higher bill.
Another area that I have always been interested in is writing. As a teenager I kept journals and at times would write poems or ideas of stories. Shyness held me back from sharing any of my writings and I didn't have the confidence in myself to take the higher level writing classes at school. I know that I lack a LOT of knowledge in writing mechanics such as grammar and organization and such. These are things that just never stuck in my head from years ago. But, what if I start here...take an entry level writing course to get me started and then focus more on the writing process and writing styles?
I think I like it. I think I'm on my way down the road less traveled and with each step I take it will become more and more lit up.

No comments: