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Always a learner

One question that used to pop up a lot when people see me, especially among older (and extended) relatives, was if I was done yet with studying. Granted, back in the days, every time they saw me, I was still a student and showed no sign of graduating, even if the reality pointed to multiple graduation ceremonies and the upward move in the academic ladder.

Even a few of my friends have teased that I never seem to tire of being a student, and if given my way, I’d be voted as “most likely to be the oldest student in the class/course”, not because I’ve failed or anything but I would happily register myself to one after another.

Street art

You know what – I didn’t (and still don’t) mind this remark at all. I love learning. In fact, I’d say “thank you” for recognising my effort to learn continuously, regardless of my age or my attained level in education.

Of course, they mostly refer to academic learning as opposed to the skills acquired and honed with our jobs and in our lives. We all recognise how important it is to evolve with our occupations in order to rise within the ranks, but one point I’d like to raise is – why are we seemingly slow to accept the value in learning something else outside of our main field of expertise?

In recent weeks, I’ve re-plunged myself into the world of learning. I was feeling a little restless, and I wanted to challenge myself anew. There were several points I could start from, but I’ve narrowed down to a couple of them, for now. One, I’ve signed up for online classes on Coursera on interesting topics but unrelated to what I normally do, and two, I’m also a budding swimmer, after years of telling myself I’ll learn how-to and yet never quite made it.

The act of educating myself using video lectures is foreign, while completing weekly assignments and preparing for examinations feel awkward, perhaps because I haven’t sit through these for years at this stage. During my postgraduate research period, there was very little classroom-based style of instruction to be had. However, a few weeks in, I believe I’m hitting my stride and I’m excited to be exposed to new knowledge. Some even had me wondering – why is this life-useful topic not taught to everyone in school??

Swimming is more of a physical learning than academic, but significant nonetheless. I’ve lost count of the number of years “learn to swim” was in my new year’s resolutions, to which I hang my head in shame. No more. I am determined to remedy this oversight and I’ve been at the municipal pool at 7.45am a few times a week, working with the instructors to overcome my inability to mimic a carefree fish in the sea. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve at least graduated from the baby pool to the medium one within four 30-minutes lesson. Fair effort, oui? ;)

In the next few months, I also plan to geek out on French grammar, something that I’ve sadly failed to keep up in the time between my classes in Alliance Française Dublin and my move to France. Well, I didn’t know then that I would end up living in France either. Since the big move, I’ve sort of deal with it but in a rather haphazard manner. It’s time to drill the rules, and exceptions (and there are tons of exceptions), back into my head!

That’s plenty to keep me going for now. I’m sure whenever I seek for more, there’s going to be something interesting that I just don’t want to miss out. That’s actually fantastic news, since it means I get to maintain the status of a perpetual, active learner.

Maybe then, just maybe, 50 years from now, I can finally declare to all that I am a learned woman.

Category: 101 Goals, Ma vie en France, Musing

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    well…there is no harm in continuous learning (that’s life actually)…as long as what you learn are positive stuffs ;)

  2. med says:

    ermmm…when what u learn is actually negative stuffs? kekekek

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