adiaforon

Not essential to the faith

Tag Archives: school

Un-college

I’ve spoken before about autodidactism, something that I’ve done more or less instinctively since around age 20, when, in order for me to feel that I had prepared myself in philosophy, I had to hit the books in the library and skip some classes that were of no value to me (e.g., Jacques Maritain). It took me four more years to leave that field and do something else, but at least I had started that habit.

Now, it looks like someone has taken it mainstream.

Honestly, it comes at a good time. If I were 20 again and living in today’s age, I sure as hell would be utilizing the Net for all its worth, especially YouTube. Yours Truly doesn’t own a TV and spends a lot of his time on the Net both at work and at home. (Too much of a homebody — gotta work on that.) Not only do I watch operas and other classical music performances, but the TED talks, ForaTV, lectures, tutorials for certifications, etc. are a gold mine. Hacking my education is something I surely would be doing now. The means to do it exist, unlike in the early 90s, when I was still stuck in the mindset that one had to go to college and get a degree to join the “real world.” Old habits died hard for me. But, around 30, things cleared up.

I like Stephens’s mention of a gap year in San Francisco. It’s a formalized approach to something that Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, and many other Europeans have been doing for many years, as a matter of course. Shame that we’ve never done it here in the US. But, then again, we’re also the land of the workaholics who take little time off and enjoy numbing ourselves with TV, etc. I did my own gap year equivalent in Asia teaching English. I learned so much about myself during that time and would do it again if I were the same age. But, it was a little late in coming.

He also mentions Ivan Illich in his list of recommended reading. Illich is always a good read, more so nowadays with the plethora of institutions we have.

You begin the path to being who you can truly be when you un-school and un-college. Refer to my original mantra:

“You spend the first 20 years of your life living to someone else’s script. You spend the next 20 years deconstructing, until you reach 40 and then ‘life begins.”

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