Hunger for Continuous Learning

A reflection on David Robson’s article “A five-step guide to not being stupid

By Jahzeel Dionne V. Ybasco

I came across an article in BBC.com entitled “How not to be stupid.” I find it very interesting as it has given five techniques people can use to motivate themselves to keep on learning.

It is indeed very difficult to go against the tide of our educational system. What appears to be the focus of our education is being able to pass examinations that put people into their respective categories. The result is often achieved as students pass their examinations. However, they seem to be half-baked and unprepared to face the real world. Many employees in different industries admit that they barely use what they remember in school in their respective fields. It appears as though a four-year diploma is only a spring board to earn a job yet the period of time spent in studying is not enough to equip one with real-world knowledge. Although this fact is discouraging and may render teachers and students alike hopeless, I look at it as a challenge.

I took up my Masters without being a graduate of Master’s Degree in mind. I felt that I was powerful enough to choose my own degree not depending on my parents’ money. It is refreshing to see learning from a different perspective, something that will not be measured by grades or points in school but by professional and personal development. There is satisfaction in learning what I love not because I want to have a job but because I want to learn.

This is the same satisfaction I have in learning Japanese. In high school, I only wanted to learn it because of animations and their rocking soundtracks that I wanted to understand better. Although I still use the same excuse in studying the said language, I am filled with exhilaration when I create sentences, read expressions and understand puns in Japanese.

When I receive comments regarding how I love studying, I feel extremely proud of myself. As an educator, I can only give what I have and unfortunately, due to some concerns, I cannot ensure a 100% transfer of learning to my students. There is a big reason why I keep on learning: no matter what the percentage of learning I can transfer, it will be significant. I have a hunger for leaving an imprint in this world and I want people I connect with to remember how I think, even if they can’t remember how I treat them.

Behind all these reasons, the underlying motivation why I do what I do is I don’t want to find myself stupid. I don’t want to find myself in a space where I can’t understand a single thing just because I have not used my time to read more books or develop my language skills. I cannot afford to  be proud of or complacent with what I know when I believe my time in this Earth is not enough to  learn everything.

Steve Jobs once said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Although, I am no Steve Jobs nor will I reach the pedestal he got for himself, I am proud to say I am still hungry and foolish.

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You can read David Robson’s excellent article here:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150422-how-not-to-be-stupid

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