Today’s Daily Prompt: “If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?”
Oh, what a joy. If I had the time and money to go back and restart my BA.
I’m sorely tempted at the moment to do just that. One problem I’d have is that there are too many subjects I’d like to study.
On my first run at Uni a dozen years back I started with English and Linguistics.
To go to University for a BA and not study English literature seems to me almost a crime. To be told I had to read all those great novels, plays and poems. To be told I had to listen to experts increase my understanding of them. To be forced to sit around an discuss them in tutorials. All I can say is ““Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
I loved English. I had such a good time.
Then there was linguistics. Apart from phonetics (aaaaaarrrgggggggg) I ate it up. There was the marvellous elements of systems in linguistics and an increasing understanding of how grammar worked that drew me in like a bee to pollen.
I also did a semester of mythology. I’d go back to that too. At the moment I have a couple of Joseph Campbell’s books sitting there waiting for me to read. I loved “The Power of Myth” and I’m looking forward to “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
They’re all possibilities for something I’d like to master but at the moment a new subject is front of mind.
I’ve been putting myself through a self-education in philosophy. I have a good university level text on the history of philosophy and a good introductory philosophy text. I’m also reading Plato and a lot of A.C. Grayling and Alain de Botton.
Going back to University and studying it in a more formal setting and order would be a joy, or at least I hope it would. I’d hate to get there only to discover that the philosophy I want to learn is not the philosophy that is being taught. I managed to avoid that problem while studying English, apart from a single course I stayed away from the Twentieth Century, but I went into course selection already understanding the subject and what I liked and disliked. I have no such advantage with philosophy.
Then there is the other large blank spot in my Arts education – Fine Arts. A friend I met while doing my matriculation course went on to do Fine Arts and the course looked great with teaching in both appreciation and history. I enjoy looking at art and know it would be good to have more knowledge behind my appreciation.
For a final note, I have been slowly learning to become a drummer for the past four years. It would be nice to go to school every day and get a drum lesson and some music theory before practicing with some fellow musicians until I was a master. I find learning the drums a sometimes frustrating experience as I stumble my way through practice and songs on my own.
How can I choose just one? Mastery in a single topic? Please, can I have them all?
- Alain de Botton: Education is what makes us fully human (newstatesman.com)
- Philosophy is a Useless Major; All Praise to Philosophy (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)