Monday, March 12, 2012

"Only the educated are free." Epictetus

Hi. My name's Tony C, and I'm a huge geek...

Acknowledgement is the first step, so I've been told. Truth is though, I've not always been a geek as I'll define in this post. Quite the contrary. My commitment to new found knowledge has been a development during Act III of the Tony C saga which occurred well after my formal years of the typical institutional education.

That's not to say I didn't learn things in school. Not by a long shot. What I'm referring to is that burning desire to discover and explore new ideas or revisit old ones that are still the gold standard in any given field.

I didn't have that desire during my high school/college days. Too many other things captured my focus during that time...well...actually one group in particular...just so many of them.

Wasted time? Not necessarily. Being in school is somewhat akin to being at a monster truck rally with information being represented as the mud flying around. Just your very presence means some is going to stick to you. Being the resident class clown meant I always had front row seats in high school, so I caught a lot of mud completely based on location alone. Funny thing is...if you act like you're paying are in fact paying attention. Go figure.

Eventually, I grew up and realized that the amount of knowledge a person has is directly proportionate to one's status of well being in life. That doesn't mean all the smart people make all the money. Not at all. I know for a fact...well...let me stop right there and leave that statement unspoken.

So, Mrs. Tony C and I have placed a premium on education in our home. She's actually an Education major and teacher by profession just temporarily on hiatus for the higher calling of motherhood. Don't get me wrong. She's teaching now on a daily basis to two students near a dear to yours truly. The teenager gets a lesson every now and then too.

We've established a hierarchy of priority in our home that guides every principle or decision. God comes first. Family is next. Education rounds out the list at third. One, two and three. We've yet to come across a situation that can't be prioritized within that list.

I'm always emphasising to the teenager that neither her faith nor knowledge she obtains can ever be taken from her by another person. Both become a part of her very character, and only death (and therefore God) can separate you from that identity. Please understand when I speak of knowledge I'm not exclusively speaking of academia. I know many very intelligent people who never made it beyond high school in a formal educational setting. Information flows freely all around us for the taking, and quite frankly, the more you know...the more valuable you are to society. Plus, an electrician is much more valuable when you have a wiring problem than a professor of sociology. Assumptions being made with that statement naturally.

I started down this muse last night after watching 60 Minutes and a piece on the Khan Academy. A link to the segment is posted below. What an exciting concept! Quality educational instruction available to anyone for the taking and absolutely free. All you need is the desire.

I'm using the site to go back and learn the calculus that apparently didn't stick while I was in college thanks to those stinking cute co-eds. Hey...I starting this post by freely admitting I'm a geek these days...

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