As I wrote in the post about why education is meaningful, I was a staunch believer that most education was useless. Past tense (“was”) is key here. Having lived longer, I see the value of all education, and I wish that I had valued all education more when I was in school.
We are all trying to become more efficient and productive. Who would not want to do more in less time? And, there is a massive amount of advice on the subject (such as “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss). If you use a computer, here is my single recommendation for getting more done in less time: a second computer monitor.
For those students wanting to become lawyers, they might lament that there are no real-world applications of the LSAT. The LSAT is filled with questions about arguments that make little to no sense, reading comprehension passages that appear to be the very embodiment of cruel and unusual punishment, and logic “games.” How exactly does this all determine who has what it takes to be a lawyer? Is the LSAT just a crucible to bear before entering the hallowed halls of law school?
Formal logic is the fundamental language which underlies modern mathematics and computer science. And yet students are rarely exposed to it before college, if ever. This has led to it having a reputation for difficulty and obscurity. Nothing could be further from the truth!
I was at a conference at New York University recently called “Life of the Mind.” Its purpose was to use classical and modern texts to examine the meaning of education. At dinner, everyone at my table shared what they do. I said, “I own a tutoring company that specializes on the SAT and ACT.” The fellow attendee sitting next to me exclaimed, “So you’re the enemy!”
In a prior post, I shared what I had learned about how to foster ambition (defined as the drive to excel and succeed). To achieve success, people need skill and knowledge. But the acquisition of skill and knowledge requires the desire to learn. In order to cultivate an appetite for learning, people need to be convinced that learning is meaningful, that it has value, is worthwhile, and has purpose. Purpose, therefore, is the foundation of learning, ambition, and success – it is, after all, why we do whatever we do. So, how do we convince students that all education has meaning and purpose?