Learning

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. ~B. F. Skinner

I have read so many books I don’t remember well and can’t tell you the plot of. When I think back on much of what I’ve read, I am not sure now why I liked/didn’t like/was indifferent to a particular work. But I’ve always known in some deep place that I was different for having read it. That’s why I love Skinner’s quote–he just puts it right out there that we’re going to forget the details!

I’m glad to have a love of learning. There is so much joy to me in “stretching my mind” to accommodate something new. I am even fairly tolerant of formal education, which I think in many cases does as much to stifle curiosity and creativity as it does to nurture them. And I feel lucky that learning is something I can do throughout my life…unlike competitive gymnastics, for example!

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5 Responses to Learning

  1. cantohondo says:

    I stumbled across your blog a few days ago,and added it to my list of favorites. Thanks for the inspiration you provide on a daily basis.It is greatly appreciated.

  2. quotesqueen says:

    Thanks for reading & responding! It’s nice to feel like I’m talking to someone besides myself…

  3. Claudia says:

    hmmmphhhhh! I thought I was someone. 🙂

  4. quotesqueen says:

    Oh, you are, you are…thanks for reading and responding!

  5. donna says:

    We don’t really actually forget, we just don’t remember at the conscious level.

    Try getting a good massage sometime, and notice what thoughts come into your head as different places are touched. Or visit a “scent garden” and see what memories the various scents develop in you.

    For reading, I tend to read with a pencil in hand and underline important parts that resonate with me. Then I can flip back through the book later and read those points. Sometimes I’ll end up with books that get three or four sets of marks throughout them as I read at different times.

    One of our son’s friends is reading some of our old science fiction books right now, and it’s interesting that even though we haven’t read them in years, as he responds to them our memories of reading the books come back and we know what book is the next one in the series, or what other similar books to push at him next. You don’t really forget, it’s just not something you’re using right now….

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