Saturday, 29 June 2013

'Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom'.

After the last post which proved to be quite conversational (thank you for the engaging and varied comments!) I have been thinking, as ever, about degrees and further education.

Reading the comments brought to mind (again) my own experiences with University. In the last post I was questioning the necessity of a degree, namely because nowadays one can study literally anything just about anywhere. What I would like to emphasis is the importance of a hunger for knowledge and how without that vital requisite it would render a degree fruitless.

A degree, or any form of higher education, is a true way of expanding one's erudition and love for learning.

As home educators this is one of the key points of keeping our much loved children at home and close; to nurture a deep sense of eagerness to learn, to question, to discover- all of which is somewhat lacking in schools.

To follow this sense of wonder is truly inspiring to behold and usually a home educated child who has asked questions, inquired and been allowed to follow their interests and there by developing a deeper thirst for knowledge and truth, will usually have more of a sense of what subject they would like to study than their schooled peers.

To learn should be to free the mind and to lift the mind to higher levels. If a degree can bring this fruit then of course it is a good and right course to take.

Aristotle once said,  'Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.'  And this is also what going to university, or any form of higher education, is about- not just the subject the student is reading, but the acquisitions associated with it; the 'flying the nest' and discovery of self.

We as parents, equip them with the necessary morals and learning tools they need, but at some point, they are on their own, free to make their own mistakes and learn from them. (This naturally is easier to say when child is still in the confines of the safe home!)

This is is the same for their chosen course- it won't be just about what subject they're reading but what is happening around them- who they will meet, who they will have discourses with, what extra curricular activities they choose, if they continue to be actively pro life, attend Holy Mass, live as a devout Catholic, have like minded friends etc.  It is about growing up, finding their wings and flying...

All this thinking on degrees brought me back to my own experiences and how my three years at University affected me. It is quite difficult to compare as I was not a Catholic. In fact my years away from home 'up North' had the opposite effect upon me than University often does! From a wild child Jewish Princess I turned wannabee traditional Catholic, and in my final year I was attending daily Mass and holding weekly prayer vigils outside the local hospital. (When my three girlfriends were nursing hangovers and goodness knows what else on a Sunday morning I was walking to Deerpark Road to the SSPX Mass!)  I calmed down and 'found myself'. It may sound trite but on looking back now perhaps University- and it's freedoms and lessons - allowed me to find my way Home.

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