We Only Learn What We Want to Learn

There have only been two times in my life where I’ve truly applied myself to something.  The first being when I taught myself how to read and write in Dwarven…the second kayaking.  Like many kids, I was a Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) fanatic, and around the age of 12 picked up a copy of The Hobbit and translated every Dwarvish text using translation keys to figure out their alphabet, which I then memorized and learned to read and write fluently.  This took me about 4 weeks to accomplish – even with my mom FORCING me to bed at midnight.  Meanwhile, with 6 years of Spanish classes under my belt, I can barely navigate a menu.

The same went for kayaking.  I fell in love with it, immersed myself in it, and then truly got something out of it.  And what this taught me about life is that at the end of the day, the only things we truly get something out of are the things we develop a passion for.  Everything else just becomes a painful memory.

You probably know where I’m going with this…I find school miserable.  The reason being that even though school (at all levels) may help you find your passion, it is RARELY EVER where you further develop that passion.  And at the end of the day, schools even reaffirm this.  How?  If you find you something you like, you’re encouraged to go find an internship – then once you are at that internship, you are usually told to forget everything you learned in school.

Doesn’t this make school no more than a middle man?  A barrier between you and a goal?  Middle men definitely have their place, but at the end of the day I want to deal with the wholesaler, not the reseller.

I’ve always found the classroom to keep me away from learning the things I want to learn – and luckily I’ve never been one to be found idling.  Instead of being able to focus-in-on and annihilate one subject you’re passionate about, you’re attention is drawn out across multiple subjects that you wouldn’t even save from drowning in the shallow end of the pool.  And thanks to it, you are plopped out into the world with a wealth of knowledge that is about as useful as a tool belt from Fisher-Price®.

I realize that today everyone is all about multitasking, but to me that just means the ability to simultaneously complete many tasks half-assed.  At age 12 I was able to learn an entire language in 4 weeks simply because it was all I focused on and something I wanted to do.  Meanwhile after 6 years of multitasking and dis-interest I’m still inept in a language that half the world speaks.  Thus, I encourage you to just focus on one thing at a time and destroy the subject.

-Sepp

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