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Thursday, November 27, 2008

No wiser than before

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"
US novelist (1922 - 2007)

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This quote seems to sum up the whole educational experience for me. I don't think I learned my most important lessons in school, but I did spend an awful lot of time there. And for what? Not trying to look at this as having a direct relationship, or impact, on where I am in life at the moment, but there are times when I think I could have devoted myself to a whole lot of whatever-it-is-I-want-to-do.

In fact, I often joke about having gained skills in school and college that I can't really put down on my resume. For those who know the inside story, laugh all you want, but you know it's true!

I don't think I'm full of "murderous resentment" but I do think that there are alternatives to this sort of educational system, and maybe it's something that will have to be evolved soon. Also, I've been reading The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, and I think the ideas in this book, specifically the life and educational experience of the main character, Joseph Knecht, helps reinforce this need to change.

Am I bitter and resentful about the time I spent in school and college? No. I know what I did and even though I may not know why I did it, I'm perfectly alright with where I am in life at the moment. The only thing that gets in my way, or in my head, is myself. Known that for quite a while now, and although there are aspects of the education system that needs to be changed, the world over, mind you, I'm okay with what was done to me. Sounds nasty when I say it like that.

But still, extremely fortunate to have received an education at all, there are things that I would like to see changed. Is this change necessary? Well, not for me it isn't because I'm too used to systems in place to want to do anything about them. Just complaining and shrugging my shoulders to indicate lack of control of the overall situation seems to take a lot of effort, and most of my time...he he he. But who knows what the future holds, right? The answer to that question, ladies and gentlemen, is "those who create the future." That's who.

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Acknowledgments:
1) This quote was taken from Quotation's Page.
2) Thank you Josh, for introducing me to this quote.
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