The art and truth about learning
Going to school is only the first part of the learning process, and college or technical/trade school only the second part. It’s those schools that help prepare you for the third and most important learning part: ground work for the life learning process.
I have met a lot of people who, when they finish college, feel that their learning process is over when, in fact, it is just starting. In truth, all your life is a learning process. All school taught you was how to learn. Now, after school, you need to decipher what’s most important for you to learn and set about doing it.
Most inventions and discoveries were not made or discovered while in school. They were made or discovered after school. Someone wanted a cure for a disease and they went about searching everywhere for clues that would help them make the discovery. School helped them seek out clues and information that could help them. Seeking is a path and school helps you discover that path.
If you want to invent something to make everyone’s life better or easier, that again is rarely done in school.
Early in the last century most discoveries were worked on in basements, garages and woodsheds behind the inventor’s home. Now much, but not all, discoveries are done in research labs where very expensive equipment is used to test out ideas.
Thomas Edison liked to take credit for creating the first commercial research lab, but in truth, the ancient guilds, especially in the Renaissance, were the formal research labs. This is where young people learned their trade by watching and helping a master craftsman do his work and more often than not create something new that made their job easier or safer.
School is the first link in life that helps you open doors to the rest of your creative life. It’s not a final step, it’s the beginning of the beginning.
The final step usually coincides with your final breath. That is, if you’re a contributor and not just a user. The choice is very much yours. Accept the challenge or live off those who do.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (740) 852-4906.