Learning: Past, Present, Future

Learning as a means to an end has been the corner stone of every great civilization that’s existed to day. Years ago as a child going to school was a painful experience, literally in some cases. Now as an adult I have had the luxury of extra learning courses at my local college as part of a vague attempt at becoming employable for jobs I have no interest it. As with all people of any age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, finance. It’s the fundamental right of anyone who has the desire to improve their knowledge on any subject they so choose.

The Past

As with most children I was dragged to school (metaphorically of course), and under protest some days if I recall. The long arduous hours of sitting on a stiffly cheap plastic chair behind a MDF topped metal legged table, which always seemed to be the best hiding place for other people’s unwanted gum and/or nose pickings. Tempting the laws of gravity as you rocked back and forth on the two flimsy legs that look like hey could buckle under weight of the precariously sat student, broken up by the sudden shocks of horror as the “friend” behind you pulls on the chair.

There were good moments of course, from the ones I can remember atleast. From a then friend (who was clearly suffering from an undiagnosed case of A.D.D), ridding on the fact that we were laughing when we meant to be working. All the while under the watchful gaze of the clearly fed up teacher, mentally taking notes on our poor performance. Only to get his own back on parents evening by reporting our behavior to our parents, evident by the report card filled with his cursive writing barely legible by anyone other than himself. He undoubted realized they would punish us more than he had the legal power to.

The monotony of school time would rarely be broken up with the occasional trip to the museum or exhibit, featuring the most expensive displays available to everyone without the need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to see them first hand. Even to a camping trip which included a hike that; would end up with me nearly losing my bowls in a field of grain stalks, as a rampant hare tore through it running towards me at blinding speed. The stiff brittle grain stalks flattening under paw leading a narrow trail towards me, nearly passing by like a lone comet about to smash into the Earth only to be deflected seconds before impact.

To the small band of friends to whom I am still on a digital list of faces and names with to this day. Even though we may no longer congregate due to; finding other interests, moving, different priorities. Social media has still kept that chain alive, so that maybe one day we all gather for one last reminisce of the “good old days” before fading away into retirement , too desiccated too fearful to move that we’d crumble to dust.

These would be the good moments the ones I cherish. The bad memories would be the salt in the wound of the whole experience. Being bullied was the cornerstone of these moments but I’ll get into that another time.

The Present

Now after 10 years of being a recluse I have sought out education as a means to an end. Pursuing a career in writing:[enter sub type here]…(I have yet to decide), rather than something I must endure for the first 16 years of my life. College/University and learning as a general rule has become what feels like a new addiction and just because I want to and not because I have to.

Filling my head with the professionally craft words of a lecturer or staring at laser printed sheets of A4. It’s certainly much more safer than inhaling toxins flooding my veins, killing me slowly as a means to distract me from depressive state.

There’s a reason we make learning a legal requirement of parents, raising children in ignorance is morally and ethically wrong.

Having such a large array of courses to choose from is a little over whelming. Finding something to cater to my thirst, improving my knowledge base so I can kill any remaining ignorance left in my head. Stomping on it like a weed and pulling up the roots to never grow again is an ever .

This had only been re-enforced due to a chance meeting with a fellow trans-woman who has branched out my social life, one I was sorely in need of. If there are shining examples of coincidence this was one of them. Not only that but meeting several people who are writers themselves this has to be fate.

The Future

So now I await for the next stage in my continued quest for knowledge, attempt to unlock the potential life has to offer me. September 2014 is going to be the starting phase of what should hopefully be 4 years of hard work, hopefully my brain won’t dissolve into a grey puddle of mush draining through my nose and ears. With any luck be a fun filled adventure of new places, people and opportunities. No more of my years will be wasted doing nothing like; blankly starting at a screen, being ruled by apathy and depression. Depression that has all but diminished, with the small slivers left slowly eroding away with the new found social life I have been blessed to be apart of.

To many and myself, being able to learn is one of our greatest tools we could ever hope to posses, it is after the main reason we have become one of the most dominant species on the planet. Even if it has irreparably damaged the planet, caused the death of millions, caused untold horrors of destruction…oh dear bad examples! Forget that last part. Regardless of the negative impact learning can have it’s a massive leap away from ignorance of not wanting to know, not wanting to open our minds to new ideas because what we may know may inevitably come back around and hurt us. That’s why we use history to learn from our mistakes, even make them in an attempt to distinguish the different between fact and fiction and fantasy.

Life is about living, learning and loving. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is.

Until then keep studying. I know I will be.

Laura Steel.

Author: Laura Steel

I am the 27 year old trans-woman in current possession of this website. Using this site as a medium for me to practice my chosen vocation as well as being able to vent any thoughts and ideas I so choose, as I am currently in the process of starting my writing career.

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