Thoughts To Distract Me From School Work

I was trying to work on a thesis paragraph for English when I hit a wall. This is a wall I often encounter while doing school work, it is the point where I become disinterested with what I am doing and generally have to put aside whatever I am doing for awhile in hopes that my brain will work in the background while I do other things.

It seems that I’ll often be reading other people’s blog posts that aren’t necessarily directly related to my problem but, somehow in the process of reading their post I better understand my problem. It will begin to take shape and I can actually define what is wrong. I’m very fond of the analogy, my brain likes to think of them and they seem to help me explain my often incoherent thoughts. So here is the latest from the analogy factory:

As I was saying earlier, I often hit a wall of boredom and disinterest while doing work for classes. On the other side of this is the fact that I find the whole education, learning, technology, etc. talk a fascinating (if not broad) topic. To sit and watch things unfold and to be able to listen in on great conversations that go on in the blogosphere is something I enjoy immensely. So here is the analogy…I think there is a general consensus across the U.S. and probably most of the world that poverty, AIDS, global warming, etc. are not good and we all want something to be done about these issues. In reality though, how many of us actually really do anything to help these efforts? It is so easy to support an abstract idea that is full of humanistic value and makes mankind shine a little brighter among all the muck that exists. We like the big ideas, not the individual effort. So how does this all connect? Just as I am fascinated by the “great” talk of educated people and am fascinated by the whole concept I have trouble making the connection between the big picture and little picture (individual effort). I feel like I am missing a link, although it sometimes makes a brief appearance. It is if my approach to the English assignment now would be the exact same approach if I had never read anyones blog. I’m sure that is not entirely true but, I cannot escape that feeling. I’m not necessarily looking for some grand life altering experience every time I sit down to do an assignment…I don’t even know what I am even trying to say anymore.

This sort of leads me to another question, how does a student go about immersing themselves in a learning environment when outside of the classroom it is not always conducive of such? I feel there is a great disconnect between student life and the learning life. I don’t want to sound self-righteous or condescending because I am sure there are other students who feel this and I am sure that all students feel this at some level. If we are truly supposed to be learning to learn and beginning our journey in the “life of the mind” why do I feel like so few students are aware of this? Or even care? Maybe it is just my freshman perspective that is so pessimistic and frustrated.

Ok, now I have to get back to my English assignment, lets see if anything has changed…  As I was editing this post I suddenly felt this elusive “link” make an appearance, I think I need to chase it a little before it runs away…

3 Responses to “Thoughts To Distract Me From School Work”

  1. 1 sgreenla April 10, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    “If we are truly supposed to be learning to learn and beginning our journey in the “life of the mind” why do I feel like so few students are aware of this? Or even care?”

    I suspect that most students either haven’t been told this or else don’t believe it. It certainly doesn’t match the majority of their experience as undergraduates, where the official objective is “satisfying the degree requirements” rather than participating in the life of the mind. I only know a handful of students who are here for the latter. Literally, three come to mind right away, and I might be able to come up with a couple others. From an institutional point of view, how would one quantify participating in the life of the mind? How would one know when they were far enough along to merit a bachelor’s degree? Maybe real education is more a process than a product? (Thanks for the idea, Martha.) John Bradshaw said, a recent edition of Occam’s Razor, “Science is a journey of exploration whose destination is unknown and where the journey can be of more significance than the actual destination.”
    The same thing can be said of education.

  2. 2 sehauser April 10, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    A good point, sometimes it is easy to forget in the “measurable results” society we live in. This kind of reminds me of the, “What can you do with a degree in [insert seemingly useless major]?” question that always irritates me. There is no way to quantify real education, if you did you would no longer have real education.
    Sometimes, I just can’t help but feel alone in my “discoveries”. For the most part I probably don’t share them with my friends, which is, a failing on my own part…

    In any case, interesting article, some of the things he discussed we talked about in my sociology class today, I love connections!

  1. 1 silly things « Loaded Learning Trackback on April 11, 2007 at 11:39 pm

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