School vs. The Learner

Posted by Lance Atkins on October 17, 2011 0 Comments

 As a child, my teachers, well, hated me. I didn’t really excel in school. I just put in my time. They told me “you’re better than this,” and “you’re gifted and lazy.” What they didn’t see was that I couldn’t wait to go home and start really learning. Legos, paper airplanes, building my own potato gun, welding, and digging holes all awaited me. The things, and intuition, I learned from that creative space in my life is priceless to me. School was school. Life was learning. Then, some day, it began to change. School is learning and Life is life. It’s as if we reserve a 20 year chunk of life for learning at school, then go out and expect to use that learnedness.

When did creativity become less important than biology? And when did college become the only way to the promise land?

I’m not here to completely rag on school. I think it’s a great thing. But I do think we often use school for our self esteem and a paper certificate more than we use it to learn. I’d prefer to question the system:

  • What if you quit your MBA program and started a business that teaches you how to run a business? Would that be cheaper than your student loan bill?
  • What can you learn by exploring your weird invention idea? (uh... a LOT)
  • What ways were you creative as a child? Where did it go?
  • What could you learn, while having fun, with a stack of books in a coffee shop?
  • What impossible idea do you have that would require you to learn your way out of it?

Maybe creativity, confidence, and curiosity are your new tuition.


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