The Ultimate Life-Long Learner?
Eye-popping story today about a man up north who has earned 29 college degrees and is still going strong. He’s only 71 after all …
The count: one bachelor’s degree, two associate’s degrees, 22 master’s degrees, three specialist degrees and one doctoral degree, with a master’s in criminal justice in the cooker as we read. No honorary or “non-traditional” degrees and he does not do online courses. Apparently student loans are not an issue – if I understand the article, he paid his own way all the way.
If nothing else, this guy must really enjoy the school environment and learning.
Related work experience – apparently none. The guy is retired, but worked menial jobs throughout his life as a life-long learner. He has yet to actually use his accumulated knowledge to work at something, other than the obvious work of earning a college degree.
As a side-note, his wife has seven degrees.
“I would like to get to 33 or 34. I’m almost there,” he said. “When I complete that, I’ll feel like I’ve completed my basic education. After that, if I’m still alive — that would take me to 80 or 81 — I would then be free to pursue any type of degree.”
As a life-long learner and the holder of several college degrees, my initial reaction was one of awe that he was so far ahead of me …
Then my brain and my own education kicked in. Some important questions here:
1) Are education and learning goals in and of themselves?
Education purely for the love of knowledge is not a bad thing in and of itself, but I’m not sure this should be the only goal. I love to learn, but I also love to use what I learn.
2) Does learning not used benefit others? Is this important?
As a teacher and helper, my goal has always been to learn things in order to share that knowledge with others. What does it say when one learns only for themselves. Does enjoying the classics on a more educated level provide an acceptable motivation to learn?
3) What does this say about the value of education to an individual, beyond the obvious “Value is in the eye of the beholder”?
The main has a right to spend his time and money however he wants. No harm befalls anyone else through his eternal quest for more learning. I just are not sure that this is a value to which I would be able to ascribe.
So tell me:
Am I just engaging in sour grapes because I question the value of this approach to education and learning?
Does any of this ring true for you or am I just jealous because he apparently has more time and money to pursue learning than I do?
Wondering how many degrees I could pile up over the next few years in the Heartland ….