Saturday 3 November 2012

The Joy of Learning

“A mind stretched to a new idea can never go back to its original dimension.”

(Oliver Wendall Holmes)


My husband Rob mentioned how when he lectures, sometimes his students just sit there like bumps on a log.  The look on their faces says it all:  Entertain me!  Apathy rather than anticipation consumes the lecture hall.  What happened to the joy of learning?  What happened to learning for the sake of learning, not just to achieve a good grade at the end of a course? 


One blogger mentions that if you spend an hour a day reading about a certain topic, in three years, you will be a top expert, in five, a national expert and, in ten, a world expert.  Isn’t there something to be said for researching a topic and learning it like the back of your hand?


I think about my husband Rob.  When our son Thomas was younger he started collecting hockey cards.  Rob followed suit.  Now he has a closet full of hockey cards and a brain full of hockey statistics.  That’s quite impressive for someone who never played the game.

He still takes delight in getting a binder out of the closet and pouring over his cards.  I joke that he is studying for an exam.


I think of my Dad and his approach to his hobby.  His in-depth study of jazz over the last several decades has led him to write and publish a book, Meet Me at the Lakeview Casino, about the Big Bands that played in Southern Ontario in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. 


Then there’s my Aunty Marlene.  She has been studying geneology for years.  She has files and files of information on her family.  It’s like solving a mystery every time she attempts to fill in the branches of her family tree.  Without my Aunt’s knowledge, my Mom wouldn’t have been able to assemble a geneology scrapbook for each of her children. 


How about my grandfather’s love for photography?  A grocer by trade, he bought a camera and tripod and took up the hobby.  He entered some photos in contests.  He won for his snapshot of my sister Lisa as a baby as well as for a rare close-up of a blue jay.  He had nothing to gain by taking pictures; he simply loved doing it.


I love to learn.  I feel alive when I’m learning.  That’s probably why I loved school.  That’s probably one reason I became a teacher because teachers are always learning.  I never want to lose the joy of learning!



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