“What are you up to?”
“I’ve been doing homework, or pre-reading for class”
“Oh, that sucks”
“No, it’s really exhilarating!”
It’s true though, despite the looks of confusion I get. I love to learn. I love the feeling of stretching my mind to add in new concepts and ideas. To storing knowledge away knowing that there will come a time where one piece of it will provide that perfect ah ha! moment, that click as I solve a puzzle.
While most of the people I surround myself with seem to enjoy learning and growth in some way, the folks I interact with that are part of society as a whole often just shy away from it entirely. I grew up in a household where my parents read the paper every day, delighting in some new article about a topic they hadn’t heard of before. I have a lot of privilege in that way. While most parents struggle to make ends meet and get enough sleep after their two or more jobs, mine were talking me to performances and plays. I wonder how much of my absolute lust for knowledge comes from them.
Kelev brings up a few new movies he got when we talk on the phone before bed. He loves watching documentaries, especially about history or famous figures. His favorites seem to be the ones that show a side you never really expected. He’s like an eager puppy digging up a favorite bone when he finds some new treasure trove of knowledge about an event or person who we all thought we knew and took for granted. I love watching how excited he gets, I can practically see his tail wagging and his exuberance is contagious, soon I’m wagging along with him. I’m happy that a lifetime of shitty retail jobs and mind numbing tv shows, of institutionalized education in a fucked up school system, hasn’t killed his curiosity.
James shares an article with me, something he read that really spoke to him. It’s intriguing, and some of the concepts require I read over it for a third time to really begin to grasp them. We discuss it, coming at it from very different perspectives, and I’m grateful that it didn’t just show up on my feed one day. Reading it has already stretched my mind, but hearing how he views on it pushes me even further. I’m thankful for that moment of growth, it invigorates my whole day.
I eagerly share it with Hoffy, and am surprised when he reads it right away and discusses it with me. I am still getting used to having partners who are so interested in what I share with them. Our minds tend to work in a more similar way. With James, I was stretching to get another perspective, with Hoffy, there is more of a shared understanding. It feels like home, and it cements a strong foundation, so when we talk about what we are thinking, we can keep building upward together on our own discoveries.
I continue to pass on threads of the conversation to Kyuu or to Witty. I discuss it with Kelev as we talk before bed. I learn more from each person and delight in how my day is just filled with that bright happy light of discovery and innovative thought. I remember how I felt so numb, with drinking, with depression. This is the opposite of numb. This is growth, this is wonder, this is what I think of when I think of education.
It is back to schoolwork the next day and the feeling persists. What I’m learning in nursing school isn’t often of the same nature as an article shared to me about communication styles or societal power structures. It isn’t the same as a documentary with a whole new take on a historical event that gives you insight into the minds of another culture or country in that snapshot of history. It has the same glow though. One day I will be teaching what I’m learning to a patient, or discussing it with a fellow nurse, and someone will say something that expands my perspective on it in another burst of light. I still have a lust for such learning after all this time, it will persist through my whole life. So yes, I am excited to do my homework, I’m excited for just about everything these days. The more experience and knowledge I can pack in my brain the better, and while I’m sure I’ll need periods of relaxation and silence again soon, I’m immersing myself happily in the hubbub of learning and growth right now, and I feel at home there.