I recently learned how incredibly crazy the education system is here in America (specifically Texas, since this is the only state I’ve studied in)… I already knew there were issues, but I didn’t know how crazy the situation was.
In my Contemp Social Theory class, my prof told us that Protestants back in the day were taught by someone (I believe he said Calvin, but I need to look it up to make sure it was really him), that they were taught that a way of knowing that you are saved is if you are doing well, financially. So, this resulted in Protestants working really hard and saving up money, and in doing so, they were essentially “proving” that they were saved from the fires of hell, and “convincing” themselves of their salvation.
This practice of constantly being on a hamster wheel of sorts, mindlessly working, working, working, has leaked into other parts of society… including our education system.
I have two teachers from high school, Mrs. Rich and Mr. K, that helped me love to learn, even though I already liked learning– but these teachers were just AMAZING.
It wasn’t until college though, that I learned to love learning much more, since these particular profs (Ms. Le, Dr. Mestrovic, and Mr. Hart) didn’t have any standardized tests to worry about.
Dr. M gave us the most ridiculously easy tests, and spent all period lecturing, and I would look forward to lectures, I’d sit in the first row, and was just so happy and felt so honored and privileged to be taking him.
Mr. Hart wasn’t as fun and interesting as Dr. M, but I still really liked how chill he was, and how unhurried and unstressed his class made me feel.
Other classes in college made me dread school, but it wasn’t until I got to these particular classes in the Liberal Arts program, that I finally realized how over the years, I stopped loving to learn, and I just hurried to memorize stuff and spit it back out as perfectly as possible. I hardly ever turned in my best work, I didn’t feel pride in what I produced, and I always felt tired and hurried and just trying to get the best grades as possible with the least amount of effort.
I want to feel pride in what I do.
What exactly am I going to do in response to this epiphany?
My brother has this project he has to turn in to his English teacher, a summer project, and he has to read this book and take some test on what he read.
I’m going to get this boy to start reading the book NOW, and not the week before school, and take notes as he reads. He’s only going to read 1-2 chapters a day, and then I’ll read those chapters, and then we’ll discuss what we read.
It’s a horrible thing to realize that you don’t love learning, and it’s a complete waste to rush through a good book, and not enjoy it.
True, the liberal arts may not be “useful” to some people, but it takes all kinds to make the world go round, and I refuse to be an engineering student that hates life and is always tired and rushed.
I’m very grateful to the Lord for bringing me to sociology and helping me feel fulfilled, and now I get to help others realize what it took me years to learn.
…I also have nieces and a nephew that I will be able to influence, and help them learn to love learning. :)