There’s something lonely about education.
We frame it in community. Discussions, lecture classes, instructors, and peers all point to a relational learning approach. But the process of learning is a starkly lonely one.
For all the times I’ve bemoaned a lack of an “easier way” to absorb information, I’ve been reminded that I’m on my own to process the material. For every study group I’ve participated in, I’ve reflected on how much more I’d get done if we were actually studying rather than sipping lattes or discussing the new Hobbit movie.
Automatic-fact-absorption doesn’t usually just happen. Concepts have to click on an individual basis, not a corporate one. When I’m crunched for time and have material to learn, I go somewhere–alone–and wish I was elsewhere, wish there were people to listen to me complain about my plight.
Usually I end up at a busy coffee shop for a few hours with a very heavy backpack and a good pair of headphones. Alone. And I study, make connections, or memorize facts. By myself.
It’s weird. Though learning is totally dependent on my own curiosity (discipline?), I can’t get the information itself on my own. It comes from everywhere outside of me.
Conclusion: four years of college have taught me that it’s impossible to learn without myself, but it’s rather annoying to learn with myself sometimes.
I should be studying right. now.