March 25, 2012 by Ronn Ives, under What Really Matters.
Written during one year’s favorite season:
“Driving this morning with the top down on the Miata, the weather had just a hint of Fall mixed into the late Summer air and I was playing Devo’s greatest hits.
After a certain age, it began to feel like all my nostalgia was locked into a bordered period of time. Nostalgia couldn’t possibly arrive after a certain date. The calendar was moving too quickly. Memories didn’t have the time to age. The cream hadn’t risen.
This morning was different. Fallish weather always sets my stage. The majority of my nostalgia lies within this season. I suppose a lot of it is in my childhood’s yearly goodbye to a Summer of Play, and the start to another Fall of Learning.
Anymore, my Learning doesn’t have Seasonal Cycles. Twenty five and a half years of schooling plus thirteen years of teaching established that feeling of cycles, but I’ve not been involved in academic environments since 1990. Now, my learning occurs only when I read a new book, go to a lecture, choose to watch an intelligent film, consider someone’s thoughts, and think about that which I’m encountering. Now, it’s ALL on me. I am my own engine and fuel.
Was it in school I learned most of what I know? Of course not. That knowledge, important as it remains, wasn’t the majority anymore than the tools in a carryall are the home in which you live. Was your learning cyclic, seasonal? No, but when you’re young it feels that way. Somehow the books your parents put in your hands were recreational, whereas the books of your schools were the ones from which you Learned. It’s a silly idea, but most of us saw this division as real.
No bell signals the end of my learning day, no book is ever “done”. I have no artificial tests examining my comprehension of a moment or idea. It all flows in and it all flows out… no different than breathing. Some moments are of more value, some of less, some needed now, some later, some maybe never… but I choose to keep it flowing. It’s not merely the data that counts – it’s the movement.
After a quarter of a century, listening to Devo gives me another nostalgic feeling for a period of time in my life… But, I NEVER want to feel nostalgic about Learning.