Self Improvised Reading and Learning

It’s been a while since my last post and I have been busy with something a lot more fulfilling to my reading. When I got back I changed the routine to my reading. Now I have decided to put my book reading of conservative, politics, philosophy and autism aside to focus on geology and the environment. It has been like a return to the days of the Open University for me.

At the time I was at the Open University it was an improvised self studying strategy that I took to my learning. I would open up the course materials and indulge in the textbooks and materials that accompanied the course. I would just devour them like a lovable piece of candy. But I didn’t just read through them, they became a companion to my travels.

Along the way I would use them in my adventures to places like museums and holiday places. One time I went to the London Aquarium whilst I was studying a course in oceanography, which was fun. I also used my love of astronomy with my textbooks to understand more about what I was looking at through my telescope. On clear nights I would share my knowledge with my friends pointing out useful things about the stars.

Recently I got into a habit of practicing this with an episode of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ on the Apollo 15 mission. I listened to the stories about the rocks they were examining and cross referenced them to what I had learned in my textbooks. It was a good experience and I hope to find more interesting and imaginative ways of applying it to the context of where I am working.

This method is quite useful to putting your learning into a grand scheme of where your going to apply your education. There was a quote from a philosopher called Plutarch that goes ‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.’ Try and find the thing that lights that fire, not just fill it with knowledge. It’s not the content that matters, it’s the spark that counts.

One thing that I would advise is not to try and be so self serving for your school work. In the first term I made a few mistakes and underestimated the learning curve. I should have not relied too much on my past reading and just counting on the lectures for information. It can’t be undone but I can focus on what I need to do to set things right. So now I have decided to try collaborating with my disability support tutor to organise a set routine that I can do outside of my lectures.

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