Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Education of Boys (5) - My Experience

I goofed around at secondary school, because I wanted to be a farmer and English, French and History did not seem very relevant. The one thing I gained was a love for reading. I was hopeless at sport, so I spent all my spare time in the school library to avoid sporting activities. I read large number of biographies and this inspired me that I could be anything that I chose to be. I left school when I was aged fifteen, because I was bored.

  1. I worked with my father who was a hard worker and a very wise farmer. I learned good work habits from him.
  2. I saw him treat people fairly, even if he sometimes got ripped off in the process. I noted that doing the right thing brings its own reward.
  3. I soon discovered that if I had a job to do, I might as well get on and get it done. No one else would do the job for me, so if I put it off, it would still be hanging over me tomorrow.
  4. Some of the work was physically demanding. It did not take me long to realise that I was not built for physical work and so I started to think about how I could use education to get me into a type of work that would suit me better.
  5. I developed to a point where I was physically stronger then my Father and that gave me a sense of achievment.
  6. My father was always looking for better ways to do tasks. For example when docking lambs, he worked out a way to do each action quicker. We applied this approach to all or tasks and I still find myself doing this.
  7. I realised that there was a lot that I did not know about farming. I started reading voraciously to learn what I needed to know. I discovered that education is interesting when it is relevant to what you are doing.
  8. I worked with a number of different men and observed their attitudes to work and life.
  9. Farming in New Zealand tends to get buffeted by international economic and political events. As I thought about falling prices for farm production, I realised that I needed to understand more about economics and politics, so I decided to go to university and study these topics.
  10. I prepared for and completed a university entrance by studying in the evenings.
  11. My university studies were more effective than my previous experience of education. I got much better grades than I had ever got before. There were several reasons. I was studying topics that were relevant to me. I had learned good work habits and I naturally applied these to my study. I had learned not to put tasks off. I was an adult with a much better understanding of how the world worked.
My education did not finsih when I left University. It has continued every day since. I love learning more and more.

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