I have an illness that may never be cured.
I am an autodidact.
"What's that?", you ask.
Well let me first ease your worries and let you know it's not a REAL illness, just a metaphor (Relax Mrs. Angela and Emily, don't have panic attacks.) An autodidact is a person who has a thirst for knowledge that can not be quenched through traditional schooling methods. So, after all is said and done, and my pretty little college diploma is hanging on my wall, I still feel like I have a ton to learn.
And let me tell you what... I am in good company! Socrates, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Edison were all autodidactics.
The real problem is that I don't feel that my education taught me very much. Sure, I learned all of the names of great educational philosphers, and I know how to teach a child addition without saying "add," but do I really know anything about history, biology, math (pshhhh, we all know that I have very little knowledge about that one!) The basics are what I seem to be missing!
So, about a week ago, I set out to fix this little problem. I researched and there is this AMAZING thing called "Open Course Ware," which allows you access to entire classes from schools like Notre Dame, MIT, and John Hopkins. You get the syllabus, access to all of the podcasted lectures, and do the assignments- All for free!
I figure I will start a couple of those in the fall, probably Biology, Cultural Anthropology, International Nutrition, and Introduction to Economics.
For now however, let me fill you in on what I have been doing.
This is a picture of my gigantic timeline. It is over 20 pieces of paper long and is not yet completed. So far it stretches from 500 BC to 200 AD- one page per 50 years. The idea is that if you fill out one consecutive timeline, you are able to remember more of history because you can "place" the events in the right area of time, (one of the biggest problems students face is their lack of historical understanding.)
Close up of the timeline. I'll keep you updated as I fill it out and extend it!
This is the French book. I took french for 3 years in high school, and 2 semesters in college. Unfortunately, that really got me nowhere. I have a big sense of stage fright of things like practicing speaking french out loud, playing the piano in front of an audience, or anything that I could potentially "mess up," on and feel dumb over. I am working on that. I do about 15 pages in this a day, and it's a great book!
This is a book of devotionals that I am working on. Some may not really consider it learning, but I enjoy reading it because it contains stories from all over the world that I am learning from other people's experiences! 3-4 pages a day in this one.
This is my Bible Study, but it is really something you would expect from a Christian university or seminary. It goes really into depth, analyzing the people and the places, looking into word root and origins. I really enjoy this and try not to rush through it. 5-10 pages a day, depending on how much time I have.
No, really. What do you think?