Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Education - more ain't always better

Hipster Buffalo reading about how to
decolonialize himself
I have talked about education in other posts.  It is an area that interests me as I have benefited greatly from higher education, but now also see the biases (religious, cultural etcetera) 
in education and the longstanding challenges for indigenous peoples to be in education spaces (residential schools, regular schools that were not sensitive to the needs of the people).  Lower level education left me feeling stupid and bored, while higher education finally freed me from my learning disabilities and allowed a space for me to break the religious barriers that were in my life.  Education has allowed me to get a good job and have enough money to live life.  It helped me to think about life with a new lens and introduced me to new friends and writers.

I have also written of that feeling that maybe there is more I should be giving back to my community and the wonder of whether more education is part of that.  Cause you could do a Phd should you?  Does it add anything to your life or ability to contribute to community?  Would I personally be happier to have a chance to learn more? 

Usually when I hear about a person going back to do another degree I feel a level of jealousy.  I would like to have the perceived "prestige" that label gives.  I would like to imagine another life and what ifs.  I would like to be the one reading and learning.  It is easy in these spaces to focus on the positive of what may be lost.  But recently I was talking to someone planning to go back to school and I was struck that I did not feel jealous.  I could see all that this person would have to give up to achieve that dream.  I know what is has meant for other friends to go through and finish.  I could see the value added, once the costs were paid.

I see that I have a lot to learn, but that it is not learning in an institution.  I don't need to get a piece of paper to show that I have progressed.  My life will show that.  My children will show that.  My community too.  Some of that learning is pretty basic, things I am missing not having grown up in my culture.  These things, I am learning and teaching in the same breath.  Some are deeper lessons that will take time.  A lot of this learning is about living and not putting more pressures on my life or my family.  It is about time to read and listen and talk.  What are you working on learning right now?

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