“If You Don’t Learn Something, Every Day, You Might As Well Be Dead!”

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    I still have an insatiable thirst for knowledge but I at the same time, I think that you don’t have to enroll back in school or work to obtain a degree from a place of higher learning, especially when there is tuition involved!

   My brother, Ryan told me right after he graduated from law school with a degree in Environmental Law that if he could do his schooling over again, he would have stopped right after high school. I found this shocking! I also think that he is a little full-of-shit with this statement because his focus was probably on how much debt he surmounted from all of his years in school instead of how higher education taught him how to think better, how to research, how to organize your time, etc.

   For me, the biggest accomplishment next to brining my son into this world and raising him up right, it my 4-year degree. Albeit, it took me 8 years to get my Bachelors of Art degree in General Studies, it is something I look back on as a huge accomplishment for me.

   My folks were not able to help pay for my two brothers and my college education, so we all got in debt. Both of my very smart brothers were able to pay off their student loans much quicker than I. I am really quite thankful of the fact that I had to work hard for my degree and didn’t mind the reality of paying it down for years to come.

   What was more important to me, was two-fold. One was to obtain a degree that society actually recognized as somewhat difficult so that I could qualify for better jobs than having a 2- year Associates degree would allow and the second was to be a good role model for my young son at the time. When I graduated from Western Washington University in the city of subdued excitement, Bellingham, Washington, he graduated with me and received a diploma too. After the ceremony, I put my shiny black, graduation hat on him. I gave him his diploma that he earned because he was a huge motivator and helped push me to never give up until I got my degree and we took the above picture together. It was a wonderful moment and day in my life, even though at times it seems that it’s just a “piece of paper.” It gave me the confidence to go after something that would help open doors for me and that’s exactly what it did!

Moral:

        I think being a lifelong learner is essential. It’s great being curious and to seek the truth or answers to anything you have questions about. Anytime I want to know the answer to something, I grab my iPhone or do a 'Google search' on my computer and then start with the first page of results. I have a hard time reading a whole book from front to back, this practice has empowered me tremendously. By doing my selective reading this way, I can guarantee that I won't have to spend a lot of time reading or expending a lot of energy on searching for answers....which frees me up to do something else with the extra time that would typically be lost if I were reading a book, or two, or three! Just be careful to look at the source of who wrote what you are reading. Some sources are likely to be more credible then others but if you dig deeper and 'spread your net wide' you will catch some good 'fish!

LESSON Twenty Two: Never Stop Learning, Until the Day You Die