Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How do you like them apples?

"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f***in' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"

- Good Will Hunting -

When I was in school, I hated it.

Not all of it. Not every class. Not every teacher. There was the odd moment of enjoyment and appreciation for what I was learning. But for the most part, it was a drag. I consider myself relatively intelligent, and was able to muddle through with very little effort on my part. I was never in any danger of being named valedictorian, but I graduated.

I think when you're a teenager, it's hard to appreciate how what you're learning will affect your life in any meaningful way. And being told what you have to learn....well, being told that you have to do anything is just begging for an initial rebellious instinct, isn't it? And I think some people are just better at school than others, be it because of a better memory, enjoying the structure, or for whatever reason. For me, I was just happy to be done with it and into the workforce, because I always seemed to be more successful with work than school, it had tangible rewards (i.e. money), and what you did had external results outside of yourself.

So I've been in the workforce for the last 7 years or so, since my graduation, and happy as a hippie in a hemp store. Work has provided a number of challenges and things to learn to perfect my craft. And I have much yet to learn, I'm sure, but it's more task specific, as the foundations are now in place. In my current position, I also have a bit more downtime on my hands, as the nature of the work is that when it's busy, it's really busy, but when it's not.....it's agonizingly slow. My current work is also not very mentally taxing. It's important, it requires alertness and attention to detail....but doesn't require a great deal of mental acuity. As a result, my brain has been a bit......hungry, of late. I've considered taking courses by correspondence and nightclasses, but I don't know if that's right for me. I've always liked the above quoted line from Good Will Hunting, and it struck a chord with me, so I've taken to reading a bit more of late. Non-fiction, at that.

I just finished reading On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. It was a fascinating read in which he talks about the psychological costs on the individual who is required to kill, and the conditioning factors that can make him more prepared to do so. For anyone who has an academic interest in violence and combat, it's a must read. I had bought that book at Chapters, and read it in a couple of weeks. I'd compiled a "wish list" at indigo.ca of other books I'm interested in reading (feel free to check them out), but was a bit depressed at the cost.

Anyway, I went to the library today, and low and behold, they have a couple of the books on the shelf. So for a library card that cost me $0, I picked up Bitter Embrace by Maggie Siggins, which is actually about the reserve of Pelican Narrows where I was posted and lived from the summers of 2003 to 2005. I have a feeling it's a bit of a biased view, but I'm interested to see what's written.

It's hard to find the time to read. There's always work, t.v. to watch, Internet to surf, errands to run, sleep, KIDS (looking forward to that one), etc, etc. It's almost like you have to make an appointment with yourself. So why take the time? Why read? What good is it?

Truth be told, I don't know.

But I'm hoping to find out.


Blogger Tam's thoughts said...

I'm happy to read that you are looking forward to our child.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

See, I always knew you were the rebellious one.

Glad to hear about your renewed enthusiasm for literature. You've inspired me to do the same. I feel a little disconnected with my field if ya know what I mean. Hope all the books are as good as you expect. I should try reading one of your kind that you mentioned, they sound like they'd be pretty interesting.

2:59 PM  
Blogger London Postmaster said...

Hey, if you ever want a science text book, I think I can hook you up! (I'm currently attempting a Biology Text book)
Reading is FUN!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hmm. Unless it's preceded by political or followed by fiction, chances are I'm not interested.

Thanks though. Enjoy. Tell me how it ends.


7:51 PM  
Blogger London Postmaster said...

Well, stem cell and genetic research is a hot political issue... and some consider evolution a fictional piece... it's even got dinosours!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Expand your MIND brother! I take it back, I won't read one of your books, hmph! ;)

8:41 PM  

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