Education and Learning

How many people do you know who have college degrees yet don’t seem to know anything?

I never finished an engineering degree. Before I entered the university I was already taught through books, friends, experience about electronic circuits and the math involved. I went to university and refused to be channeled into a regimented system.

But in my third year, I discovered the game. And I was even able to hit the honor roll sometimes even though I don’t think I ever studied with the goal of a grade.

Then I had 10-20 years of jobs where the graduate engineer came in who knew tons of math, but couldn’t figure out the practical side of manufacturing or how to design to standards or any number of other things.

It’s the same for wherever my curiosity took me. Philosophy, psychology, Yoga, soccer, health, fitness…

I offer myself as a poor example of Mark Twain’s comment, “Don’t let education get in the way of learning.”

I know many professionals–engineers, doctors, lawyers, and more–who make good use of education and degrees.

But I know far too many people who have the paper yet are still unlearned.

They are the ones who asked, “Will this be on the test?” They remembered long enough for the test. They worked for a grade. Got it and moved on.

But there are many who barely remember university or maybe even made it there who are among the smartest and most knowledgeable people I know.

Curiosity and imagination are more important than rote memorization. (Although it is useful to remember many things. A paradox.)

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