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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Education

One of my favorite books is Education of a Wandering Man, by Louis L'Amour. It's a wonderful adventure story about reading and traveling and writing. I love seeing how L'Amour's own adventures show up later in his novels. I first read that book as an assignment in my twelfth grade English class, and it has stuck with me ever since. It has had a great influence on my own education.
Education is made up of more than books. It means learning to work, learning to think, learning to see the world around us through new eyes. For me, it also means learning about God and my relationship to Him. I firmly believe God wants His children to be educated about many things. In Doctrine and Covenants 93, verse 36, we learn that the glory of God is intelligence, or light and truth. In D&C 88:78-79, we find a list of all the things God encourages us to learn.

"Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms"
God knows all things. He wants us, as His children, to grow up to be like Him. Therefore, He encourages us to study and learn as much as we can. As we do so, we'll be better prepared to serve others.
High points of my education include that Humanities class I took in highschool, where I learned you could study art and music and literature in ways I'd never thought of before. Then my first year of college, I took a week-long Honors course called "American Film Comedy." I didn't know you could analyze comedies with philosophy and psychology. But I liked it. There were many Spanish classes, both literature and linguistics, and many humanities classes. I learned to love language and literature even more than I already did. There was a study abroad to Spain, where I got to see cathedrals and aqueducts and a mosque, and where I studied more literature. My Humanities 350 class was ALL literary theory. I thought I hated it, but I learned what theory was, I got better at using it, and it prepared me for classes I'd take later. Turns out I loved it. I also loved the 20th Century Spanish Poetry class I took later, where we talked not only about poetry, but about literary theory, and I was able to really apply the stuff I learned in Hum 350. And then there was the class on Don Quijote. And the Humanities senior seminar on frontiers, including a road trip to Spiral Jetty. My education also includes my jobs as a Humanities TA and as a recycling specialist. My mission to Argentina was also a part of my education. And now I'm back, trying to finish a novel, get ready for my MA program, and keep moving forward.