Will Learning Ever End? … When I was growing up I was a silent kid. I would sit back at family events and school and just absorb everything. I played sports, had friends and was quite extroverted amongst those I was comfortable with (somehow not being my own family until I was about sixteen), but for some reason I would just learn from my environment and adapt to the people around me. I did this for the full fifteen years of pre-collegiate school. It is astounding now that doctors and child psychologists have finally established that what I did in high school is now a sign that kids are bored and under challenged by their schooling… something I find to be entirely true.
The repetition involved, at least in the schools of the USA allows children to learn the facts at a very young age and keep regurgitating this information back, just adding slightly more specific details to the events. However, this shall not be an entry about the lack of efficiency that I find in present day American education. Instead, I’ll explore the joy you can find in everyday lessons and this is where the link from my silent childhood comes into play.
I am proud to say that I was a silent kid, it is what first got me interested in psychology. I was able to adapt in every social environment, I was a social chameleon, which is a beautiful thing. This skill allows me to be friends with everyone I meet which further allows me to expand my knowledge about everything. When I studied Astrophysics and Astronomy I got to meet some of the greatest minds in the World, including Alexi Filipenko, who may not ring a bell with most people, but who is a man that I truly idolized because he could talk about phenomena in the universe on the History Channel and he got to live in Hawaii while he was doing his research with some of the World’s most expensive telescopes that are on the peaks of dormant volcanoes. I could actually hold a conversation with this man, while at the end of that day, go out to one of the cheap bars in downtown Toronto and talk to the drunken fool about his life experiences. Both conversations engaged me, were authentic and added to my knowledge!
Even now after being in Kelowna, BC for just about a month I have learned an impressive amount of information about food, wine and have had the pleasure of meeting the man responsible for introducing Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Corona to the prominent American marketplace. I have also had the delightful pleasure of meeting, and working with a TV personality Chef, a Chef who was invited to cook for the Queen of England by her own word, as well as meet the new generation of outstanding North American Chefs.
So what would my lesson be for today? Well, to summarize everything that I have described that makes me feel quite proud of the way that my young career has turned out, I would say that you simply can’t rely on the education systems to put you where you need to go to be successful and happy. At the end of the day, whether it’s college, university, high school or one of the top schools in the World, you are merely getting a piece of paper that hundreds of thousands of others will be getting at that exact same moment. To be where you need to go and be happy and successful you have to be willing to expand your knowledge beyond that of your program, you have to be willing to drive for change in your life and be willing to go where no one else is. That is certainly what Gates, Jobs, Dell, Brin, Page, Zuckerberg, Ford, Edison etc. did as they changed the world.
I was raised in a town where my graduating class was 100 students, I moved to one of the largest cities in North America, to a school where I would only be a number on one of three sprawling campuses that had over 60,000 students. I then made the change to use my life-long skill of adaptability and understanding to decide that I need to study Hospitality and not the Sciences. I then made the move across the country to one of the most under rated beauties of the New World, to a World class winery where all I have to do is learn about food and beverage. This is how I believe need to live your life. Take into account what you’re amazing at, even if it seems like a simple skill that everyone should have, mine was being able to make people happy, and squeezing every last essence from that to get to where you want to be. My path is still winding as I pick up the skills and knowledge needed for my future and even then I know I’ll be squeezing!
My high school quote was that “Flying is nothing more than falling and being able to miss the ground.” This quote has given me more insight into what I needed to do with my life than anything, but I won’t be giving you my interpretation, that I leave to you, but the answer to the lead question of this post is … Learning never ends!