Learn to Love, Love to Learn

I’ve been in the technology field now for over 15 years.  I must say that I’ve been extremely fortunate and believe that while I’ve only had a handful of jobs, I’ve made the right decision to move on when the opportunity has presented itself.  But my story could be very different.

At this point in my life, finally, I love learning.  Well, I love it again.  Most of that probably has to do with my wife (and children) but I realize that I’ve loved it for a while and at some point just lost my way.  I did well in high school without really applying myself.  But when I got ready to graduate and decide on what I wanted to go to college for I wasn’t really sure.  I had been tinkering with computers for a while, owned a few Java 1.0 and HTML books and had been ‘the guy’ for friends and family PC issues.  I enjoyed technology.  I enjoyed learning about what was next.  But for a career?  I just wasn’t sure.

That’s when my dad gave me the worst advice ever:

You don’t want to go to school for computers.  You’ll always have to be learning and studying.

Looking back on this, it stings a little (okay, a lot).   I took this advice and said, you know what, you’re right.  Who wants to have to be in school all the time learning new things.  Or constantly reading books (even though I was an avid reader) to learn how to do something new.  So I went to school and floundered.  The truly engaging classes I excelled in.  The ho-hum classes I tried not to sleep through.  Three major changes later, I was in the Comp-Sci program and burnt out on college.  So I quit.  But college isn’t the issue or my lack of focus the first time around.

You see, we are teaching our kids to love learning.  To enjoy what they don’t yet know.  And we certainly live in an age where information is right at their fingertips.  They don’t fathom having to go to the library to look up something in an encyclopedia.  They don’t know what it’s like to not have information instantly available, to have an inquiry and be able to search out info from multiple sources.  But my dad took that away.  With one sentence, he made me think that learning was one and done.  Like sitting in math class and thinking you’ll never use this in ‘the real world’. 😉

At this point in my life I have found the love again.  I read as much as possible and watch all the lovely videos on Pluralsight that I can.  I model this for my children and when they ask questions I don’t know the answers to, we look them up.  But I will never tell my children to bypass what they love to do what’s easier, especially if it involves learning.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 Uncategorized

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