Saturday, April 20, 2019

My education journey

I’m essentially self educated. Sure, I went though high school like most people. After that I tried community college for one semester but dropped out after that. For the next nineteen years I was self taught.

When still eighteen years old I was lucky enough to get into the fire department. Since I loved to read, a good chunk of my disposable income went towards buying books. Across the street from the fire station is the public library. Over my years in the fire service I read a good sampling of the books in our little library.

My self education was of two general types. I was a sponge for information and since I never knew what would catch my attention I read a wide variety of books. The second type of reading was for specific subjects and information. A subject or a project would catch my interest an I’d read all the information on the subject that I could find. It could anything from boat building to falconry. I learned enough to build a few boats over the years and I learned enough about falconry to realize it was a larger time and money commitment that I was interested in.

Somewhere along the way I got interested in dome homes. That sent me down the rabbit hole of learning a lot of geometry that I never learned in high school. I still live in the dome built during those years.

Two years after leaving the fire service, at the age of thirty-seven, I went back to college for a four year degree. By then I was a fully formed grown adult, not some impressionable teenager. College did not completely change my world view or anything like that. If anything I got to bring my experiences and self education to the halls of academia. That wasn’t always appreciated, but more often than not it was useful.

The thing that college did was give me a few more tools to continue my self education. My searches and research became more focused and organized. Also, I was better able to express myself. In general, the formal college experience gave me a few more tools to keep doing what I always did.

It was interesting to go back to college as a non-traditional student. I had a whole college at my disposal. There were plenty of courses that I took, not because I needed them for my major, but because I found them interesting. Really, that’s the best and most fun way to go to college. It won’t land you a job, but will provide you with a wider education.

If I had to pick what part of my education was most important I’d have to say it was the self directed part. That’s where I learned to think outside the box.



  1. Self educations are always the best.

  2. Even at my age I believe any day I don't learn something is a wasted day.