I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be a lifelong learner.
I’ve lately been frustrated with my students because they just don’t seem to care enough to literally just lift a finger to learn something new. There’s a good news/bad news thing going on here, though; the availability and immediacy of information in the internet is wonderful (what did we do before the internet?!), but it’s also REALLY easy to find REALLY bad information and, in fact, it’s often hard to find reliable information at all; sometimes, finding credible information is really difficult. I know how to do it, and it’s often hard for me.
What is it that makes people curious enough to want to learn more? What inspires people to get more and better information?
For me, it’s a combination of things, I think; I don’t want to be ‘left out’ of conversation because I don’t understand what’s being discussed. I hate missing allusions and connections but more to the point, I’m tickled when I DO get the joke or see the link or make the leap, and that high is enough to keep me going back for more.
I’m also keenly aware of my responsibility, both as a mother and a teacher, to be as well-informed as I can be. People, especially young people, look to me for guidance and answers, and I would be unethical if I weren’t as prepared as I can possibly be. It’s an ever-evolving process, of course – one should never stop learning – but I’m not satisfied with anything less than the best I can do.
I am circling around a musing about what I see is an ever-increasing hostility toward educated people, but I’m tired and not thinking straight. Perhaps I’ll work on it for tomorrow…