Re: Education
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 19:43:11 -0600

Another important consideration in developing more advanced educational approaches is creating an environment which promotes learning. I've been renting a small studio apartment for the past year, and my goal with the place has been to create a rich and stimulating environment for myself to learn quickly in. I have several areas for working on projects, lots of arts and crafts supplies and other basic supplies and tools. All my tools and supplies are very accessable, so when I get the inspiration for a project, I can set to work immediately. The walls have lots of intense and interesting images on them, and I have lots of interesting objects to look at and handle around the place, which keep my mind occupied even while sitting, doing nothing. Of course, I also have a stereo system, a television, VCR, cable and a Nintendo 64. I have mounted several eye hooks in strategic places high on the walls and into the ceiling, which has allowed me to do all kinds of things, such as hanging a hammock up
(just a blanket, tied at opposite corners), and I often hang wooden
dowels from the ceiling which will support my weight, so I do pull-ups and gymnastic types of exersize. There is enough floor space to do all kinds of exercise, like dancing and martial-arts practice. The kitchen allows me to learn cooking skills.

Basically, I have found that I rarely get bored in my small apartment. There seems to be no end to the activities I can do there. I do a lot of drawing. I make a lot of geometric models and art. I work on body-control exercises, like dancing, martial-arts and gymnastics. I sit and think a lot. I write. I cook. I watch educational shows on television. I read. I play challenging video games. It's all a lot of fun, and I feel like I am very productive and always learning lots every day.

Another important point to make is that the lifestyle I've been living for the past few years has been very inexpensive. My base living expenses have been around $600 a month, and I feel that I live quite comfortably. The sort of education I've been pursuing for myself does not cost a lot, and I have not had to worry about getting jobs that pay me lots of money. I tend to use my jobs as educational experiences also. For the past few years, I've changed jobs about every six months, giving myself experience in many different types of work, so that now I have incredible job security; I can work just about anywhere in any city.

My point is that advanced education doesn't have to cost much; actually, I haven't noticed that it has to cost any more than it costs to live. It's how you spend your time that makes the difference. It's not necessary (or advisable, in my opinion) to go to a college or university and pay thousands of dollars so that people can assign you to do work that you'd rather not do simply to get the social approval of a degree. I personally cannot stand college. I tried it for a while after having pursued my own sort of education for a few years, but because of all the assignments I was required to do, I was not able to learn nearly as quickly as I do when left to my own devices. Basically, I felt that school was interfering with my education, so I quit.

The sort of education which I practice and promote is one that is diverse, intense, self-directed and inexpensive. In other postings, I will describe more the techniques and approaches I use when I learn. Hopefully many will find them useful.

continual improvement is the highest good

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