My Personal Learning Journey – so far

I have always enjoyed learning – even as a child.

School was relatively easy for me (until I met Calculus anyway).  I was the weird kid reading ET at recess (yes, really).  I enjoyed sports as well, but when I started a good book I couldn’t break the need to finish it.  I became completely immersed in the world the book created.  As I grew older, I began to read less fantasy/ sci-fi and more about human interaction, psychology, relationships and even self-help books! (Total nerd, I know!).

I used to love the black and white Twilight Zone episodes on TV.  My favorite episode was the one with a man who was obsessed with books.  He wore glasses and repeatedly wished that all the people in the world would disappear so that he could be alone with his books and free from interruptions.  Of course, when he gets his wish, his glasses break and there is no one who can fix them for him – so he cannot enjoy his time with his books since he can’t read without the glasses.  An interesting message about obsession, perhaps, but I always identified with the man’s wish to have more time to read.  I definitely believe in the adage, “so many books, so little time”.

College was a natural step for me in order to continue my learning goals. However, life is important to live as well.  So it has taken me twelve years to complete my bachelor’s degree.  I originally wanted to be a court reporter (stenographer) and went to college in Utah toward that end. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it past the 180wpm mark and you have to reach 210wpm to graduate.  After being stuck at 180wpm for about a year I decided this wasn’t my path.  I moved back to Nevada and enrolled in the community college.  My father always said it was important to have a degree – probably more because he didn’t have one and it held him back in his career goals.  I still think it is solid advice to anyone.

College is less about the degree than about the journey, in my opinion. You learn about a wide array of subjects rather than only the one topic you wish to major in – this is so that we are more well-rounded individuals.  I think if I could afford it, I would be one of those lifetime students.  Instead, I will have to use my well-worn library card to learn at home (much less expensive).

In every job I have held I have made it my mission to learn as much as possible about the company I work for, how others have done the job, what could make it better (usually more efficient and productive), and what I can offer.  As I grew in job experience I began to also seek outside information about my type of job.

Now that my degree is finally completed, I am looking at my community for how I can give back and be a part of making my community better.  It is extremely rewarding and is lots of fun.  I enjoy learning about the people in my community – their stories of trials and triumph, and doing what I can to help.

My personal learning journey is far from over – there is so much to learn in life and I am learning as much as I can every day and enjoying every minute.

I would love to hear your stories of personal learning and how you manage to ‘fit it into your normal life’.

~ by nicolelynnott on February 3, 2011.

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