Learning is Delicious


I remember when I was a 13 year old teenager I used to get very bored, at the extreme I was banging my head on the wall and screaming “I’m bored!!” to annoy my parents. I had friends that I can go out and play with but we had to wait till the hot Jordan sun was lower in the sky. I remember I craved reading but I couldn’t afford buying novels easily, eventually I got my hands on things to read. I read a lot of fiction, until I got interested in physics after which for the next 8 years I read and studied mostly physics, one time I sat for 21 hours straight just calculating and learning, the thrill of understanding the world and getting into “flow” was amazing.

That was the last period of my life that I got bored, after that I almost never got bored, there is simply too many things I don’t know and too much I want to do.

The point here (which I will be making a lot in my posts) is that learning is fun and engaging. Understanding the world is one of the fundamental things humans are programmed to do.

This may sound to you as a no-brainer, but it’s not the way we do education. Since it’s popular these day to criticize the educational system I will just tell you from my personal experience what I think is wrong with it: My model of learning came from stories of people before the modern age who were seeking knowledge just for the sake of it like Newton and Einstein and others in the Arabic culture that had to travel the world to apprentice with someone that had great knowledge, as cliche as it is I wanted to be like Einstein, just discovering great truths about the nature of reality.

This model of learning is very different from the one I saw when I was looking around me: learning is secondary, all that matters is the numerical value of the grade you get, that made zero sense to me. Maybe I’m not a practical person, but learning just for a degree or job insurance is just not as good as learning so that you understand the world and can execute on that understanding.

I believe that learning in schools and universities is not as engaging as it can be is because we’re not learning to understand, we do it for Job insurance.

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