Sunday, September 16, 2012

The world has become my teacher and I can never accept a go-between again

Quotes from The Day I Became an Autodidact by Kendall Hailey. One of the best books on self learning, for teens and adults, that I have ever read. A delightful, personal glimpse into the life of an autodidact.

"The world has become my teacher and I can never accept a go-between again."  p. 129

"What I hope to Do:  Love so much today I don't need tomorrow."  p. 133

"When I was in school, my life was what was due next week, and that's not enough of a life."  p. 142

"I got the most heartbreaking letter from a college friend today.  Ever since I had known her she wanted to be an actress, and so after graduation, when I was afraid I would not see her again, I wrote to tell her what a wonderful actress I thought she was.
      "She wrote today that she did not get into the acting school she wanted to, so she is giving up her dream of being an actress.  It takes so little to destroy a dream.
      "I sometimes look at adult people and wonder how they could have ended up so sad, and yet here I am at the formation of what may be some very sad lives.  We are changed people once we let go of what we hope for.
      "Most of my dreams are pretty silly, but I will not let go of one of them, no matter how much of what is laughingly referred to as 'real life' gets in the way. As Ruth Gordon said, the key to success is:  Don't Face Facts."  p. 144 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning All the Time

Here are some of my favorite quotes from John Holt's Learning All the Time:
Real learning is a process of discovery, and if we want it to happen, we must create the kinds of conditions in which discoveries are made. We know what these are. They include time, leisure, freedom, and lack of pressure.  
...what often happens to kids in school is that they are required to repeat, as sense, what makes no sense to them, to the point where they give up trying to reconcile what people say about the world with what they really feel about it. They accept as true whatever authority says is true. They do not try to check or test it. They soon forget even how to test it.
What children want and need from us is thoughtful attention. They want us to notice them and pay some kind of attention to what they do, to take them seriously, to trust and respect them as human beings. They want courtesy and politeness, but they don't need much praise.
...organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to one hundred percent false.
The idea, the very idea, that we can teach small children how to learn has come to me to seem utterly absurd.