I like to learn new things. I like the process of figuring stuff out and I like the ego boost it gives me to know something I didn’t know before. I also like how learning new things reminds me that I’m not always good at stuff. When you’re learning something, it’s can be hard! As an adult, we tend to do things that we’re good at and not try stuff we aren’t. At the same time, we push the kids in our lives to try stuff out and let them know it’s okay to fail.
So why don’t we follow our own advice?
But, I find as an adult, it’s REALLY HARD to find classes. Sure, there are beginner classes for stuff. Learn to Swim. Learn to Skate. Learn to Paint. And yes, there is of course the requisite number of classes for things that are ‘in vogue’ – Yoga, Pilates, Insert-New-Thing-of-the-Week-Here.
But it’s HARD to find CONTINUING classes. Yes, I know I can go to my university for continuing ed, but what if I just want to take one physics class? I don’t want to pursue a degree, I just want to learn more about WIMPs and MACHOS. And the Discovery Channel only whets my appetite.
My cello teacher is rare in that she continually takes on adult students. A lot of cello teachers won’t – they want to cultivate prodigies and ‘grow’ a musician. I love my cello lessons.
But now, I’d like to learn how to inline skate better. There’s a 2 hr learn to skate class but I know HOW to skate. I just want to do it better. I want to show up weekly and have someone point out what I’m doing wrong. While I was looking for classes I was just really disappointed in the offerings in my area for adults. I specifically stated I wanted Adult classes and 95% of the results I got from programs was “Parent and Tot” things. I have no tot. I will never have a Tot. And even if I did, does that immediately mean I can’t want to learn for myself and am only there to be a lifesize plaything for my tot to learn? I somehow doubt in the Parent and Tot learn to swim that the parent is doing any learning about themselves.
But this got me thinking – if we say as a society that we value education, but then mostly stop education after University, do we really value learning? or do we just value learning “enough to get by”?