Knowledge Omnivore: Taking learning more seriously than school

The other day, Brendan told me most of his school assignments were too easy. Tonight, we watched a Smarter Every Day YouTube video about all the mechanics of bird flight and he seemed to follow and get it.

I find some of my school work too difficult, not because I don’t get it, but because the authors are pompous, self-referential gasbags who couldn’t figure out good communications or storytelling if they wrote a thesis about it. (I’m looking at you, Pablo Bockowski)

I know I’m not too dense or calicified in my thinking to get it, because when I skim, it starts to sink in, but when I read carefully, I get lost in the BS.

It’s almost like traditional academia is so stuck in it’s stupid conventions and gatekeeping (read: jargon), they don’t see that real education doesn’t depend on their artificial scarcity model (I’m looking at you, journalism).

Life imitates art – or Vi Hart  – one of my favorite irreverent YouTubers who loves math, but not necessarily math class.

Or as my former Gazette colleague Jeremy Breningstall said about Coursera’s free online university classes: “It worked so well for newspapers.”

What I’m really doing, threading my way through the sleepy pajama-wearing flip-floppers, helmet-less scooter aces and tightpants of College Park is trying to kickstart my brain and get back into the job of mind-expanding – but not necessarily the same way I did during my bachelors go-round.

I’m spending one morning a week sitting in a small classroom with other media professionals and college-prolonging hopefuls debating the deep trends of the internet age, digitization of the news and the cult of “convergence” – and paying through the nose for the privilege.

Along the way, I picked up my Alternate Basic Rider motorcycle safety certificate from the MVA, because learning isn’t always done best in the classroom.

Next, I aim to get my boater’s license.