What is Learning Anyway?

Like the majority of North Americans, I had a traditional public school life, where I  memorized endless arrangements of words, dates, facts and numbers. The job was clearly to repeat back to the teacher everything that was ‘taught’, and not to confuse any of this with original ideas.

The Excitement of University – Intelligence, Challenge, Stimulation

I was therefore excited to go to the city to university. Here I would meet stimulating instructors and interesting, intelligent students. I would be challenged by wonderful, philosophical discussions on every topic under the sun and write creative, thoughtful papers for my assignments.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the first paper I handed in – a book report of a fictional story called Lord of the Flies – came back with a big, red note that said “Who are you to give your opinion on this work? Go to the library and see what the experts say”… Hello? Experts? Now, I’m very sure that experts would have a lot to say about how a group of young boys would govern themselves on an uninhabited island when left alone – if that had actually happened. But this story is a work of fiction.

Two Life Lessons – Research is Important and Know Thy Teacher

I learned two things there. The first was that research IS important and I’ve never made that mistake since. The second was that my cherished dream of a stimulating education was not going to come true at this staid university. If I wanted to find stimulating coursework, it was going to have to be in addition to the walls of academe.

That led me to a journey to educate myself outside of hallowed halls – and what an adventure it has been. Real education happens in many places when you help yourself by going to look for it. That’s not to say, of course, that education doesn’t happen in universities. It can, and often does. At the very least, they give useful certificates and degrees at the end of their stages and those have served me very well. And at best, those stimulating conversations and papers I was looking for, do actually happen. 

Real Learning Often Happens Outside of the Sanctified Halls of Academe

But most of what has been responsible for my own personal growth and development has definitely been outside of my university degree. In one sense, it can be said to be true – that the only real kind of growth begins and ends with self-help. That is if you decide to help yourself accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish, you can doing amazing things by getting started and pursuing your goals.

The Joy of Writing

All of the dozens of self-help courses I have studied, have brought me profound growth, development and specific skills. I’m delighted to have had these opportunities and, now, to be able to turn them into writing for clients who are also interested in helping people help themselves.

Facilitating Others to Develop Themselves Became a Career in Continuing Education

See Resume here