Against all odds, I made it to Day 5 of my 28-Day Writing Challenge. I’d have thought it too early to start getting tired or blank, but I must admit I’ve felt that way today, to the point of wondering why I’m even doing this. As the saying goes in local Nigerian parlance: “Who send me”? Anyhow, here we are. So, on to today’s ramble…
I love learning. I love getting knowledge and acquiring new skills. As I assume the case is with many other people, acquiring new knowledge or skills makes me more confident, almost to the point of feeling powerful. Even learning a little new trick I can do with Microsoft Excel is very tickling to me. Always excited about the idea of learning something new, I am forever poring through pages of information on the internet to just learn about people, places, and things, whether historical or current, essential or trivial.
Interestingly, I have a bone to pick with most formal education systems (at least in Nigeria where I have studied) because I feel like they do a great disservice to the purpose for which they were purportedly set up – to educate people. Not only does one have to work extra to get knowledge and understand concepts, the assessment system does not quite test ability to find and use knowledge or innovation as much as it tests ability to memorize information as received. I found my passion for knowledge was more stimulated by real-life happenings around me than by my classroom experiences.
As you can imagine, I am super grateful I have grown with the internet. From using Yahoo in the early days to making ‘the Google switch’, I have been blessed with a stockpile of information literally at my fingertips – things that might have taken me weeks to find. This in turn has fueled my indifference towards the formal education system. That is not to say that the internet competes directly with schools. They, in fact, complement each other – it just feels like schools need to become less arrogant or more flexible because there are many willing teachers in many corners of the world, all accessible via the internet.
This leads to my last line of thought. Interestingly, I found that my learning experience has been best when I have a teacher who is deliberate about explaining concepts, answering questions and providing relevant examples to contextualize the learning. Even in the inadequate systems in which I have been educated, I have had quite a few of these outstanding teachers, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. Their painstaking effort in transferring knowledge and pushing me to learn more will never be forgotten or unappreciated. Outstanding among these great teachers is Dr. Tolulase Ajayi, who also doubled as my undergraduate project supervisor. Fantastic woman, she is!
And that, dear readers, is where I draw the curtains for today….I’ll be here again tomorrow!