Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 21 - Losing myself in learning

When I was in school, a classmate and I had decided that we would be archaeologists when we grow up.  I don't quite recall what we thought archaelogists did, but we were pretty serious about it.  I have also conducted "excavations" in my backyard.  Gradually, the idea about growing up to be an archaeologist faded, but naturally, my interest in the subject didn't fade away.  I always read with interest stories of ancient cultures and reports of new findings of old artefacts.

Now, I'm thoroughly enjoying this archaeology course I am taking from Coursera.  The videos, the required readings, the exercises - everything interests me greatly..  Today, I started research online for an exercise, and it led me to the history of archaeology in India.  I was so intrigued, that I clicked and clicked, and all morning, I've been engrossed in reading about the origins and the fathers of Indian archaeology.   And then, suddenly I felt  hungry, looked at the time - and realized it was lunch-time.

Isn't this the best way to learn?   Choose something you really want to learn, and then lose yourself in it?

Someone asked me - "Why this course?  Why do you want to learn about archaeology? Of what use is it to you?"   Honestly, that thought had never crossed my mind.  I thought for a bit.  What use is it to me?  I have no idea.  I don't see me "using" this knowledge in my life, practically.  But I feel a keen desire to learn about it.  And that, as I see it, is reason enough.

6 comments:

Radhika said...

LOL! Excavation! You know what, while in middle school, it must be some lesson on carbon which said wood turns to diamond over a period of years, inspired us to look at everything we see as if it's the form of carbon which is precious! While walking back from school to home, near the Ganesha temple in Malleshwaram, my friend and I found a green stone. We thought it must be some diamond or some other precious stone. Apparently my friend's father was working in archeology department, we gave it to him to get it tested. He promptly took it to office and got it tested and told us it’s not any special stone. Your posts are bringing back my childhood memories.
And agree with you on why we should learn. If something interests, learn it. Everything learnt need not be put into use!

astrosunilnomy said...

yes rightly said, we loose interest in childhood aspirations, but would love to get back to them sometime just for a while atleast to understand & appreciate the subject ! Good that online courses like coursera are giving people opportunity to learn & understand the subjects they are interested to explore..

hAAthi said...

Isnt it truly one of the best feelings?

This is exactly how I feel about baking. I lose myself in reading up. I click click click and forget what time it is. And then some dolt comes along and asks me whats it to me, what I will ever do of it, and I want to give a wry smile and remind them of learning for the sake of learning.. Dont you feel glad youre in a place in life, when you can actually enjoy this luxury? I am constantly thanking my stars I have the basics in life adequately taken care of so I can give time to these "extra" pursuits..

nagrajrao said...

Learning diverse topics broadens one's horizons.i have strong conviction that no learning goes 'waste,.It will sometime or other be of use especially for those in the field of writing :).

austere said...

A huge congrats, Shruti! This is marvellous! How charged you must be feeling...

Isn't this wonderful? This option of learning for the sake of learning...

I've just recently learned about the Univ of Bombay extension courses... maybe someday!

Shruthi said...

Radhika, so cool that your friend's father actually took you seriously :) I'm sure the stone was special to you anyway! :)

Astrosunilnomy - yes, its a wonderful time for obsessive learners!

hAAthi, I know! And yes, I am aware, and I am grateful for this luxury.

nagrajrao, point noted :)

austere, you must! :)

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