Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Show them, Johannes! Become somebody! Do something! Make something of yourself!
"Listen to the men who come here. Listen well. Education is by no means confined to schools. Listen to such men talk, hear their philosophy, their ideas about the country, about business, trade, shipping, politics. Listen and learn. 
"Some people only learn by reading, others by doing or seeing, some learn by hearing. Learn however you can, but learn!
Quote from: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour

   No doubt a lot of learning can be done outside of school. In fact, there are a TON of videos on the internet, especially YouTube where you can watch lectures on several different topics. I watched a physics video on classical mechanics the other day, up until he started talking about Pythagorean theory equations and other formulas like it was common knowledge. I decided it was a little over my head. But if you're into that sort of thing there are entire physics college courses free for your viewing by clicking here. In fact, you can learn how to do pretty much anything on YouTube. Knowledge sharing used to be done in venues like bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, cafes, churches and other places where men and women would gather and talk. Conversations hold so much valuable information sometimes, if we just listen and want to learn, we can pick up on quite a bit. But, nowadays, conversations often take place at virtual venues and the crowd that gathers there is from across the world. This is truly a great day and age to learn. If you learn by seeing, there are videos. If you learn by doing, you can try out what you watched on said videos. If you learn by mistakes, then you'll have probably gained some great knowledge after attempting what you've watched. For those who learn best by reading, there are online libraries or your county libraries might use an app where you can check out books online and listen to audio books all for free. Even our farming county offers a virtual library. There is such a wealth of knowledge out there at our fingertips it's actually a little overwhelming.

   As for making something of yourself, I've had several conversations about the topic and its relation to college. There are a couple of ways these conversations go. One way is that a bachelor's degree has become more of a check-the-block than a measure of your expertise. Many careers want someone with a bachelor's degree (often it doesn't matter in what field) AND several years of experience. I know many government jobs still allow you to substitute schooling for experience, but in the civilian market it is tough to get a job just based off of education. Often a bachelor's degree doesn't even cut it. More often now you need at least a master's degree to be considered for a position.

   The other way these conversations go is that there are several ways to make a great living without even going to college. Many successful entrepreneurs did not ever get a degree. Bill Gates, probably the most famous and successful example, dropped out of college to pursue a business opportunity with Altair. Granted, he was in Harvard at the time and was a bright student and a veracious learner. Degrees don't always equal education. You can get a degree by cramming and passing tests. I should know, because that's basically how I got mine. Adversely, you can be highly educated without ever stepping foot in a school. There are many people who were and are better educated than me who have little more than a high school diploma or GED, sometimes not even that. They are those who love to learn and use every minute they can to gain knowledge. In the environment we live in today, there is no end to the things you can do and learn on your own. Your imagination is the only limit.

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