There came a point when I was producing and hosting a live call-in talk show on Lansing’s public access channel that I transitioned from acknowledging my ignorance to embracing it. I realized that being ignorant shouldn’t have a negative connotation. There’s no way you can know everything. It was exciting to know I could learn something about something daily. I tried to find cool and unique things that had to do with metro Lansing that you wouldn’t necessarily see on the local news or find through other outlets. I enjoyed sharing my newfound knowledge about the city with others.
Here’s the thing though: We’ve been trained since preschool that learning mostly happens in a classroom setting. My question is why?
Think about how much children learn from the time they are born until preschool – and that learning happens even when you don’t force it. Our house is full of hugs and “love yous.” I tell my 20-month-old toddler all day that I love him. He doesn’t seem to know to say it back. However, there was this one time when I was in the turn lane attempting to make a proper left-hand turn at a traffic light at an upcoming intersection. The little one was in the vehicle with me. Suddenly a big ol’ SUV began a left-hand turn into a parking lot from the right-hand lane. They encroached so quickly and suddenly that in order to avoid a collision with that vehicle I found myself in the opposing lane facing a huge truck. After a couple of well-timed zigzags and me letting out a loud F-bomb, I avoided a collision. Immediately with gusto, Lord Raiden expertly repeated that F-bomb in his adorable baby voice.
Then he started doing it quite often. … In public. … To people just wanting to say hi to him.
So many awkward moments. Funny what they learn, eh? Luckily that only lasted a few weeks.
Watching all three of my kids experience their different levels of enlightenment, I have a renewed excitement about challenging myself to always be learning. To always be trying new things. I can’t say that sometimes it doesn’t come with its challenges, but that is part of the excitement. For me, witnessing the exuberance of a young person conquering a learning threshold is contagiously exhilarating. I want to share in that level of thoughtfulness and wonder.
I’m just here to remind you that school is always in session – and watch what you say.