April 7th, 2020

I’m counting the days until I’m done school. I have five more hurdles to overcome, and then I’ll be DONE! I’ll be FREE! There’s my 9000 word PPE thesis, which I’ve mostly finished already, and my Philosophy of Law essay, which I do not think will be difficult. Then there are my three final exams: Epistemology, Philosophy of Law, and Ancient Philosophy. My last exam is on the 27th.

Will I go to grad school? It’s very unlikely.

I’ve been (re)listening to content from Isaac Morehose and Zak Slayback on unschooling yourself and getting a real education. One thing which they argue for is that when you are actually curious about a subject and want to learn about it, the learning can be done super quickly and really deeply. Unfortunately, school is built completely differently. School is systematized – there’s a time and a place and a subject for everything. Knowledge is not learned as needed, but rather, a whole bunch of different knowledge is stuffed into your brain, most of which you will never use. This system cauterizes our inborn curiosity and drive to learn.

I think I’m luckier than most because I “never let school get in the way of my education.” In high school, where classes were most painful and forced, I spent plenty of time on YouTube and on my phone listening to debates and learning about the world around me. And in university, I majored in a subject which I found intrinsically worthwhile and interesting. That being said, that schooling mindset hasn’t really left me. I’ve noticed that I do do things based on artificial systems that either impede or force my attention onto things artificially. For example, I remember when my motivation to learn Latin was highest a couple of months ago, I would stop myself after an hour of study to “save some for tomorrow”. I still haven’t gotten through my introductory textbook!

But I’m changing this now, and will hereby be much more aware of my systematizing. It blocks you from the deep learning that takes place when you are actually interested and curious about a subject. I’m working on a viral marketing project right now, but don’t know how exactly to write the copy for it. I knew the general ideas behind marketing, but figuring out how exactly to turn the ideas into concrete words that sell is not possible if you’re not hell bent on fixing a specific problem. So I noticed that when I was bulldozing through copywriting books, I spent a lot more time on them, understood them at a deeper level, and was less distracted by other things. I had a problem, and I was looking for a solution! It’s an amazing way to learn, and there’s something right about it too.

It’s the best way to learn because the acquisition of knowledge is tied directly to a real world affect. I tried to learn marketing before, to just read through copywriting books. But the concepts never really sank into me – I never went out there and used them in my day to day life, and they never really changed the way I wrote and spoke. But now, if I find a great idea while reading, I must write it down or type out the equivalent. It’s like you’re trying to build a house, and then you need a hammer, so you go and build a hammer because you know exactly how to use one. School learning is like someone giving you a hammer, a saw, nails, a drill, lots of wood, a schematic, everything that you could possibly need. But figuring out what you need and in what sequence remains unclear.

The one thing that’s clear is that while my formal schooling may be ending, my real education has just begun.

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