“We pride ourselves on making a good history of our lives, a good story to be told.” Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
Ancora imparo. Right now, I am learning how to come to understand an author through his work, without referring to biographical material. As I continue to do my podcast, I’m coming to admire and appreciate Sir Terry’s work more and more, and although I do of course know a bit of his biography, I’m purposely avoiding learning any more of it, at least for now. What I am thereby doing, of course, is committing academe. Old habits die hard. This particular exercise is one I only scratched the surface of as un undergrad, though. Either time.
Now I am enjoying, and finding fascinating, the process of inference I am using to create that better understanding of Terry Pratchett through his work. This is a taste of what it would feel like to work on a Ph.D. in Lit, I imagine. It is a highly intellectual undertaking, and not everyone’s cup of tea. I have always loved intellectual endeavor, which I think should be pretty darned clear from my previous posts.
My bias in my own learning has been toward the intellectual since I was a kid. Emotional and spiritual learning are endeavors I began later, sometimes much later. I’ve been focusing a lot on the latter two lately, but my work on my show is giving me some better balance, weighted toward the intellectual as it is.
I began studying the topic of learning in a more-or-less formal way since about 1990. I did so because I wanted more ways to understand my students, and learning styles were one tool. A very powerful one. I have also been learning about myself as a learner ever since, and the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t have a clue about.
This is called wisdom. I am enjoying the research on Pratchett, though. And since it’s June, this feels a lot like summer school. I readily admit that I am such a school nerd that I loved summer school. Still do, although it’s a self-directed one-person seminar these days.