If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you – Anonymous.
I was inspired to do this by reading a post from Midnight Madness: Things To Research In Your Free Time | The Art of Always Learning. On that blog post Georgia was discussing how even though school has finished for her, that she wants to keep on learning things. I couldn’t agree more.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) once wrote ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. I think he was wrong. I think it should have read, ‘when a [person] is tired of learning, [they] are tired of life’. Albeit Mr. Johnson wasn’t writing about modern day London, which if we’re being honest I find tiring after a weekend! I always find myself wanting to escape the noise and the crowds after too long. I know that sort of environment enlivens some people, but it seems to drain me of energy, and I need to go somewhere quiet and empty to recharge. I imagine eighteenth century London was somewhat quieter, if rather smellier, than it’s modern day counterpart.
What I will never be tired of is learning. I am constantly curious. One of the reasons I wanted to stay in Higher Education was to continue to learn. My plan was to go on to do a PhD. Unfortunately, Father Christmas didn’t give me an extra £50,000 as a christmas present, so I had to re-evaluate. I was worried that if I didn’t continue in a learning environment then it would be difficult for me to continue doing something I loved. I did history for my undergraduate and masters degrees, and I have had had an interest in that topic since I was very young. After leaving formal education I wanted to broaden my perspectives on learning. I will always have a passion for history; it’s practically in my blood these days.
Outside of the workplace I have to work a little harder to continue to learn. I’m a voracious book hoarder. At the last count I had over 400 books in my house. Many of them are non-fiction, and on all sorts of topics.
Topics I’m going to explore next:
- The history of the english language – I’ve always been fascinated by this. I’m so interested in what caused the changes, and how other languages have infiltrated our common speech (usually by way of invasion). The book currently on my shelf is ‘The Language Instinct’ by Stephen Pinker (link is goodreads).
- The development of quantum physics (for dummies!!) – Ever since reading Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ several years ago, I’ve been fascinated by quantum physics, and how things work at that level. Obviously I will never understand it to any great level (although didn’t someone once say that if a quantum physicist said he understood quantum physics then he didn’t actually understand it).
- Continue to draw – I picked up my pencils and started drawing again about a year ago. I’m currently enjoying drawing portraits and want to improve on those.
- Vegetarianism – I am not a vegetarian. I am trying to lessen my environmental impact, and it has involved attempting to be vegetarian for three or four days a week (to begin with). I want to look into this more, and more interesting recipes/dishes.
- Historical Architecture – How to recognise when a building was constructed/added to by the different markers in it’s architecture. Most of us can recognise a tudor or “mock-tudor” building… but what does a house look like from the georgian period? Or the victorian? I’d be really interested to actually learn the different styles and construction methods.
What is on your “to learn” list? What topics do you want to explore? Let me know in the comments!