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Lifelong Learning: Choices are Many

Lifelong Learning: Choices are Many03/2010 – Whistlestop Silver Express

“Education is wasted on the young!” is a phrase I’ve heard all my life and one that had particular meaning in the years we were putting our children through college. I would look yearningly at the course choices they got to select from and wish that I could take some of those same classes myself. I instinctively felt that, at the age of 40 or 50 something, I’d appreciate them much more than they would as late teens or young adults. At that time I was too busy working to help raise and support them to contemplate finding time to take a night or weekend class.

Fact is, we learn just by living every day, by our social interactions, by the personal choices we make in our reading, our exposure to media news and the internet, in myriad ways. In my household we always have a book at hand. My husband prefers non-fiction and particularly favors current affairs, history with a leaning to “modern” history – the 19th & 20th centuries. Over dinner we talk about what he’s reading and he may share it with the rest of us. When we have other family or friends with us, there is usually a conversation (or argument) about politics or some event (Haiti’s earthquake is the story as I write this), what we think about it, how we got into the “mess,” how to get out of it, and how history relates to it.

My reading choices are nearly always fiction or biography. I especially love stories about other cultures, other times, American or foreign. I am keenly aware of how much more I know about the world, largely self-taught, than I did as a college student.

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