There are two main parts to school – learning through books, tests and exams, and learning through human interaction, activities and situations.

I loved school for the fun times, the friends made, the experiences shared, but not the studying. School in a way scarred me. Till today, 9 years after leaving the formal schooling system, I still have nightmares of exams – of forgetting to study, or just plain forgetting I had an exam on that day. And I’ve probably forgotten 90% of what I’ve studied.

We eventually forget with time right? Except having a kid essentially means resetting time, and we indirectly get to relive school all over again – new syllabus and all.

Then there are different learning methods.

The dry way is listening to the teacher lecture. I just finished attending a half day talk on property related matters, which just reminded me how there isn’t a “one size fits all” kinda teaching or learning method. The talk interested me because of the list of topics.

Except I spent the first two hours of the talk basically learning about really interesting income tax related issues, but not the only question I hoped would be answered. That was later settled by asking the speaker after, but that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Then there’s Q&A driven and interest-based learning. That seems to be the latest trend in learning. It’s very common in facebook groups. You join a group based on interest (eg fishing) and if you are newbie, you learn from the questions others ask (eg where are some fishing spots in sg, what type of rod/bait/string is good etc). It’s like having different people asking variations of the same questions over and over again and the answers kind of sinks into your head eventually.

The interesting part of this is there isn’t a model answer, which is the part I love, because this isn’t school. This is the real world and there is no model answer. Eveyone says their own two cents and it’s up to you to make up your own damn mind. And that’s real life.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. — Albert Einstein

I would love to see Daniel explore the world by questioning everything and hopefully changing the world by coming up with new answers. Smart phones kind of sucked before Apple came up with the iPhone. Steve Jobs wasn’t even thinking of creating a phone from scratch. Apple was suppose to tie up with an existing company. He made it happen in the end because he wasn’t happy with what was out there at the time.

So Daniel, my wish for you – go forth, explore the world and make it a better place. I will not be able to answer all your questions, but I would definitely encourage and guide you on where to search for answers. I foresee Google becoming your best friend.

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