On Grades and General Education


To all of you out in the aether,  I’d like to muse on something.

Some of you might be students, and I’m aware that most of you will be now out of school.  For that, I will now breathe a sigh of relief.  After all the busyness of the semester everyone has a moment to, if not think on religious matters, to contemplate stillness. To sit quietly without the pressure of grades, or teachers, or peers.

Before you pass out, give me a moment. During this time especially, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, by the American author Mark Twain: “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”

Formal education has a place of importance, but what is often neglected is true learning. Break is a time when we, as students, can take time to learn what we actually want to learn. In our formal education there is a belief that everything we need to learn will be set down in a syllabus, but the most important parts of our learning come from life experience.

So I’m appealing to those of you that think grades justify your learning, School is not the summation of education, but merely an aspect. Learn how a car works, find out why the sky is blue, or why television can broadcast the same show over the world.

Off to read,


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