I am a lifetime learner. I am one of "those" students who love to sit at the front of the class, and a great teacher can bring me to tears as I listen to the knowledge they are willing to share. And I learn for the sake of learning, currently enrolled in a Graduate program, despite already having my RANK I, Master's Degree, and a Post Masters Certification and Focus Area. While I would love to add a Doctorate to the list, I haven't found that perfect program to get myself there.
So, what's the problem?
Yesterday I spent 30 minutes on the phone with one of my current professors over a simple logistics issue. Since I travel full time, and I am not in my home state to perform school observations, as required in the course, I wanted to make sure it was acceptable to do them from my current location. Instead of a simple yes or no, I was lectured about being enrolled in a course that I didn't plan to "use" and taking classes that served "no purpose" for me. His words, not mine.
I argued that they were useful to me and did serve a purpose. I love to learn for one, but I also like to stay up to date in my field. How is this wrong?
What is even more frustrating is that this is NOT the first time I have heard this from a professor. I encountered 2 professors last semester that could not understand why I would take classes if I did not intend to apply for the degree. They both suggested that I was "wasting time and money." Wow!
The message I, as the student of these professors, get is that learning is no longer valuable. It's all in the piece of paper that follows the completion of assigned courses. This saddens me.
I want to be one of those little old ladies that still waddles onto campus with my cane or walker, sitting in the front row, listening intently for the knowledge the professors have to share. And these current professors won't deter me from that goal.
Sadly, the generations behind me may get these current messages about education and will no longer have the same love of learning that I developed as a child. So sad for our kids, and even more sad for our world.
Maybe my professors, and many others, need to read my book! It may help them understand that learning is not about a degree, but more about a lifestyle!