Just because I finished college and went back and got my Master’s doesn’t mean I’m done learning. Honestly, the thing I learned MOST at Vanderbilt was learning HOW to learn. I acknowledge that my college experience was surrounded more by humanities than by mathematics and engineering (a potential mistake, but nothing I regret!). That means that I’m familiar with Montaigne and Shakespeare, but that I also know how to research anything and everything.
Case in point, I taught high school english when I graduated. I loved it and I loved coaching as well. But I met my wife and I quickly realized that my wife was going to cost me more than I could make on a teacher’s salary. (Although that is true, I freely admit that the life I wanted with her was going to cost more because of MY desire, not just her needs…)
So, with a little help, I took an 8 week course in IT and this English/Education major (with an accidental minor in classical languages) teacher became an IT worker. Just like that I had learned a new career. The internet has increased that opportunity a million fold. Everything I learned in those 8 weeks are now easily found on Youtube (and deal with technologies that are well beyond what I learned). For a person with access to the internet, and some free time and passion, it’s possible to grow outside of your comfort zones.
www.khanacademy.org is a perfect example. For a person like me, who didn’t focus on math or economics, there are free academies that allow me to learn those subjects. Couple that with local libraries and mentors and there is very little holding us back, except ourselves.
I’m taking this journey into podcasting and blogging because I need to keep learning. I’m researching how to effectively use Audacity right now. There are several videos about how to utilize it, and as I watch them I go deeper into the youtube rabbit hole of learning the product. Will I become an audio producer? Highly doubtful. But I’ll make certain that the podcast sounds more professional than it would have before my focused learning.
All in all, I now know that I can’t stop learning, I’d get too bored. I know that playing video games has gotten me very good at… video games. Now I need to focus on growing myself in different directions. This podcast and blogging journey (that my wife calls a ‘hobby’) has opened up a new world to learn. Oddly, it’s a world that I’m pushing into my work world as well (you didn’t think that I could learn something not related to work and not improve how I work AT WORK, did you?). That’s another blog post though…