The Joy of Learning

Hi everyone!

I was reminded over break of how fun learning (simply for the sake of learning) can be. I came to this revelation while visiting my older sister’s Kindergarten classroom and reading to the little kids. During the visit, I got to see how enthusiastic all of the kids were to learn. None of the kindergarteners were stressing about grades or due dates; they were all engaged solely because they were captivated by the material. Regardless of the fact that none of them understood rhyming after twenty minutes of attempting to explain that the words “bee” and “bell” do not rhyme, these kids were actually hanging on my every word about the subject. I envied their excitement towards learning, and I made it my mission to model it in my own life.

 As a result, I have taken time out of every week since being back to pick up a random book in the library that looks interesting and start reading. I also decided to approach one of my professors about participating in another one of his classes without receiving a grade. Unintentionally, these two actions have resulted in the inspiration behind a lot of my recent poetry. Amidst the pressure to maintain a decent GPA and do well in classes, we often seem to get distracted from the main purpose of taking classes in the first place: knowledge. When we choose to focus on knowledge and the fun in learning, we gain more from it and learn to enjoy the process.

I would like to issue a challenge to anyone who reads this: learn something new this week; on your own and only because you desire to learn about that thing. This “thing” you learn could be anything from a skill (like cooking a specific dessert), to useless facts about an eighteenth century poet who few people have ever heard of. Most likely, these interesting endeavors will result in some unique forms of inspiration for art that you can produce, and maybe even a piece that could appear in Opus next fall!

Have a great week!

Ryan (Poetry Editor)

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