Thoughts On Learning
Recent conversations have triggered thoughts in me that wondered about education and the process of learning. In one instance, during a family conversation we were discussing about how our main door used to be a single door. It’s been renovated to become a double door and I was asked if I remember how the single door used to look like. It’s something that I’d seen almost everyday throughout the years of my existence, and yet it was difficult for me to remember exactly how it looked like, how its design was made and what color it was among other things. My mother then got all worried and recommended to enroll me in a memory improvement course, to which my brother responded to with something that matched my own sentiment at the time:
“You don’t remember things that are non-essential.”
In another instance, and technically a few minutes ago at the time of writing this part of the post, I was asked by my younger cousin a question about Computer Science. We’re both enrolled in the same school and in the same course with him being a freshman and myself a senior. He’s very good with math and I’m the complete opposite, and in terms of grades his are higher than mine. I was not able to answer his question, but that made me wonder:
“Should I have been able to answer that question?”
That made me think. It’s also making me procrastinate from a program I’m working on, but that aside, how can you really decide what’s worth remembering and what’s not? In the realm of the academe, we’re put into educational institutions to have a chance to be exposed to information of all kinds. We’re asked to gain knowledge and display a mastery of this knowledge, gaining a reward in the process — the certification of an institution to help convince the world that we are, in fact, intelligent. In other words, a diploma.
What’s a diploma for? What are high grades for? What is a resume filled with work experience and leadership positions for? Where do all these things lead? I cannot help but imagine that this leads to a job, a way for one to earn a living, maybe even more than one needs if you’re in a high position, or a way to support a future family with children to be part of the next generation of people who will, more likely than not, try to do the exact same thing.
All this potentially stemming from the ability to remember.
So … what if you’re not good at remembering?
Surely there are some people who remember things better than others, but does success in life depend on the ability to do so? If we can remember, what if what we choose to remember isn’t what institutions are looking for? What if what we do remember won’t lead us to things we could use to fill out that resume? Hell, what is “success in life” in the first place, our participation in the capitalist systems embedded into the world and positioning ourselves in a hierarchy of power?
It’s not like I’m saying that simply working hard and gaining a lot of profit out of it is instantly a bad thing, because that can be done with good intentions in mind. Power isn’t necessarily bad either. It’s just that, what this means to me is that we can’t just learn to be able to sustain ourselves and our loved ones. We can’t just learn to gain the means to be able to bring forth into reality, to manifest into the world good intentions. In a general sense, “learning” itself is not good enough.
We have to learn in a certain way.
When I look back at what I’ve written, I realize that “learning” and “remembering” somehow found themselves morphing into one though I must point out that they are different. Remembering simply refers to the ability of being able to keep something in your memory and recall it as you wish. Learning, or at least how my mind understands it, is something more complete and more encompassing than remembering. When you learn, you’re not merely good at remembering but you’re able to use all of what you remember, make sense out of it and find situations wherein you could apply it.
I don’t remember Calculus, I learn Calculus wait a sec no bad example i dont believe i have learned calculus
And at this point in time I’m rambling. Whatever need to create a single coherent thought that I had some minutes ago disappeared, and I’ll take this as a sign that I should get back to my work.
I wonder what I’d be able to do if I learned how to make my thoughts more complete.