Pique N' Your Interest 

Lifelong learner

I could never wait until the last day of school. When that bell finally rang, sometime towards the end of June, I was always the first one out the door and down the hallway – never a word of thanks to any of my teachers, which served them right for trying to teach me over the previous 10 months.

Nothing much changed in high school. The end of school was a little more drawn out with exams, but I wasn’t one of those students that hung around afterwards discussing the answers – my life began again once I stepped out those front doors.

University was tough, and only got tougher until the very last day when I defended my thesis to a panel of my professors. I sweated for a couple of weeks until my degree came in the mail, but mainly because I didn’t think I could hack one more year of school.

But despite my deplorable attitude towards organized education, I’ve always prided myself on being something of a lifelong learner.

For example, I’ve always regretted how pathetic I was in math, science and French, and the fact that I cowardly opted out of those courses as soon as I was allowed to by the curriculum. In both math and science, I’m sure I only passed Grade 11 because the teacher knew I wouldn’t be going on to Grade 12 – there’s no end-of-year mark quite as suspicious as a 51 per cent.

Of course that meant I couldn’t go to a university in Ontario, where Grade 13 credits in at least one of those courses was a prerequisite, but I had already found a school in Halifax that would take me on my other grades – which were actually pretty good.

But while I’ll never cut it as an engineer or doctor, I still try my best to remember what I did learn in school, and to expand that knowledge.

If I have some free time, sometimes I’ll try to do some remedial algebra or calculus questions that I find online – I usually do poorly but I enjoy the sensation of using the left side of my brain now and then. It’s like stretching your legs after sitting down for a long, long time.

I read science magazines cover to cover, and what I don’t understand I always look up until I know what’s what. I also enjoy experimenting with computers – not actually writing code, but making an effort to understand how the code looks and how it works. My inability to do science in school hasn’t dimmed my ability to appreciate it.

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