Sunday, April 15, 2012

the yearn to learn

the other day i was in a bookstore. completely immersed in the travel section. fiction, non-fiction, guide books. after a thorough perusal of the stacks i was on my way to the checkout with about three books in my hand. while figuring out how much this would set me back, a light bulb went off. i thought of how i hate spending money, how i love saving money, and how i love to read books. then BLAMO! a library card was my solution. i honestly can't believe it has taken me this long to get one. i had one within the first week when i was living in new zealand.
so i put the books back and headed to the library. i left the library shortly later with the same three books in my hands, and lots of savings in my purse!
1. lonely planet's  guide to central asia (here's a 'stan' there's a 'stan' everywhere's a 'stan-stan')
2. rough guide's beijing
3. helen thayer's walking the gobi

cover of her book

when i got home from the library i cuddled up in my bed. i was coated in a mass of travel books. on my lap i had propped a pillow. on top of the pillow sat my travel planner book. it's a lamented scribbler, with a collaged front cover and filled with tid bits of stuff i thought useful when i was reading different books and blogs. while i was cozied up on my bed i realized that i was learning. that i had a genuine interest in learning the geography of these countries, their culture, their countries history etc. i realized that i wanted to learn russian, so i went out and got a tutor. then it hit me. i couldn't remember a time when i'd felt like that before. when i was actually interested in learning something. i mean i guess i wanted to learn how to start a blog, so i figured out how to do that. but it's not really the same thing.
all this got me to thinking about university. about how i didn't go to university because i had a desire to learn. i went because i had a desire to obtain a degree. i didn't crave learning about business law, or communications. i didn't look forward to reading books on the history of leisure or women in sport. there were obviously some courses that i chose to take because i was interested in them, but only some. maybe four or five.
creative writing, poetry, women's lit, cults and new religion, ecology and religion, goddesses and women of power. all of those courses were in the arts department. yet i didn't want to get a BA. i felt like the people who were getting a BA, especially in english, were in the program because they were either super passionate about literature or because they already knew they wanted to get a BEd after their BA. but i wasn't passionate enough about english to get a BA. but i wasn't passionate about my BRM either. it just sounded like it had more possibilities and more flexibility for someone like me. someone who has no idea about what they want to do. but then again, how many people actually do something they think is cool or interesting? they do it for the outcome. for what that degree can do for them.
now that i am graduated, i am still happy i chose doing a BRM. but i am no closer to discovering what i want to do. what to do when i grow up.
it's weird to realize this. to realize that i spent so much money on something i have no real interest in. just for a piece of paper, and after all four years getting it i still am no closer to finding my passion.but maybe with all these books piled on me, all this fandangled learning i've been doing will help me find it.

helen and the two camels that accompanied her and her husband across the gobi

this week(or maybe month) i am reading walking the gobi.
at the age of 63, helen thayer walked across mongolia's gobi desert. she was accompanied by her 74 year old husband bill and two camels. they walked 1600 miles across the desert in the summer of 2001. 
i will keep you posted on this one!

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