Conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain

Autodidactism is a fancy-schmancy term for ‘self-learning’. Anyone who says watching TV rots the brain clearly doesn’t use modern technology’s second screen phenomenon to research words they don’t know that come up while watching Elementary.

It is my understanding that the term is most commonly used to describe people who have developed some expertise in their self-taught field, but being that the definition of an autodidact is simply “a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher,” I am willing to tentatively consider myself as such in the areas of crochet, yoga and Candy Crush.

Learning has always been something I enjoy. My father and I have often discussed our mutual desire to be ‘professional students’, if finances allowed. I can easily see myself obtaining Bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies, Creative Writing, Archaeology, Architecture and Graphic Design if only those pesky loan payments didn’t inevitably kick in shortly after each graduation.

I have never been one of those people who can focus on one thing and one thing only until I have learned everything about it. That’s not to say I leave things unfinished – in fact, I am quite a perfectionist in the matter of individual projects – but my attention is sporadic, and once one knitted dishcloth or cross-stitched piece is done, I am usually on to whatever new interest has most recently caught my eye.

It is my opinion that education is vital to one’s mental, physical and spiritual (read: general self) growth. It really doesn’t matter if your learning takes the form of binge reading books on mathematics, or memorizing sentences in Klingon – encouraging your brain to retain information is healthy, and leads to an improved ability to do so in future.

At the moment, I am autodidacting my way through an SEO manual, in relation to new employment. Since school ended, I’ve noticed a sort of lull in my educational life that makes me feel, well, less shiny and successful, from a completely personal standpoint. So I have made it my mission to learn something new each day.

Of course, simply watching an episode of Elementary (it’s about Sherlock Holmes adventures in New York, and stars the ageless Lucy Liu, if you’re wondering) each day no doubt gives me some piece of ‘useless’ info, but I would like to further facilitate my new endeavor by beginning to learn the U.S. states and their capitals. I’d very much like to beat out Ross and Chandler in a game of ‘List All the States’, though I know I could never beat Joey’s fifty-six.

To begin, I went through my own country’s provinces and their capitals. I am mortified to admit that I had to double check a couple.

And since I’m currently residing a mere half hour from the Eastern-most Canada/U.S. border crossing, I will start with my southern neighbor, and begin working my way across. (Hooray for a geography lesson in the process!) Let’s learn about Washington!

Don’t worry – I won’t be writing entire posts on my discovery of state capitals. That would be pointless, since I’m sure it has been done, and also kind of boring. Let the learning commence!

(An aside: does the word ‘commence’ sound to anyone else like it should mean ‘end’? It could be due to the fact that our END-of-the-year awards ceremony in high school was called ‘commencement’, but I can’t seem to shake the preliminary thought that it means exactly its opposite.)

brain

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