Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Joy Of Learning

The Joy of Learning

"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."
                                                                                                 - Winston Churchill

Yes, I did just use the words joy and learning in the same sentence!

 I’ve always loved learning though I have to admit school was a disappointment. Maybe it's because I like to work at my own pace, but I always found the traditional classroom setting uninspiring, which is why the quote above resonates with me. 

Unfortunately, for many the idea of learning is associated with school and books and, once school is finished, abandoned unless absolutely necessary. Studies show that 33% of people will give up reading once they leave high school, a statistic which, as an avid reader, I find difficult to understand. Why would anyone who can read not want to?

Whether it is for enlightenment or escape, reading is such a powerful tool. But each to their own and reading is just one way to learn. Nowadays technology provides us with a whole host of visual aids to help educate us and with certain activities, especially those requiring physical skills, training and experience is the only way to go. But how many people are willing to even attempt new activities?

I have an insatiable curiosity which perhaps drives my love to learn—or is it the other way around? Still, I’d be the first to admit that I haven’t studied anywhere near all that I would like to. However becoming a writer has certainly encouraged me to widen the range of topics I’ve delved into, including many that I would previously never have imagined needing to know.

 I’ve taken courses in forensics and criminal law, attended a writer’s police academy (no boring lectures here, but hands-on, fascinating sessions) and learned to self-edit, how to format books and how to use Adobe Design.

Learning does takes time and dedication, time that could be spent relaxing, watching television or socializing. We are all busy. We all need time to rest. And it’s easy to think that if you know enough to get you through day-to-day life, why bother making the effort to do anything else? But one thing for sure, if you never try anything new, you’ll forgo the enjoyment of discovering new passions!

What about you? Do you consider learning a joy or a chore? 


  1. Great post, Mel. For me, learning about things I'm interested in is the best part about writing. I wasn't much for school until I made it into college where I could choose the classes I took. I never saw the point in being forced into such a narrow little box--if only they'd taught that "today we're going to learn the victor's interpretation of history..." and that there were other POVs available.

  2. Thanks DV. Your point about the historical POV is spot on - certainly at my school remembering all the facts so you could recite them was more important than actually thinking about them and their implications. Sadly, UK colleges still operate a system where you have to choose your subject before you apply (how are you supposed to know at 18!) and then your choice of classes is limited to a narrow range within that specialty. The American system has always seemed more sensible, for a start it gives you a chance to explore subjects that aren't covered at high school. Also in each course you get to mix with students interested in a broad range of subjects rather than just those in the same specialty which provides for a diversity of views.