The title quote of this post comes from the artist, Michaelangelo. It resonates so strongly with me, because even though I am a learning director, and someone who helps others learn and get better at their life and job stuff, I also have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are so much smarter than me. From credentialed faculty to volunteer trainers, or in a networking table at lunch or hallway conversation at the office, I learn new and complex things every day. And I’m very grateful for that because it allows me to not only get better at my job, but also to better participate in witty cocktail conversation (just kidding on that second point…kind of)
Seriously though, I was reminded of that today as I opened up my web browser, landed on Google.com, and was met with this Google Doodle.
Do you know who Jonas Salk is? (I’ll wait while you google it). Dr. Salk was the physician who came up with the polio vaccine. The only reason I know this is because I have a FDR fetish and have read nearly every biography out there about him. Whether YOU know or not though isn’t as important as how powerful it is that Google chose to honor Dr. Salk today with this banner. Today is his 100th birthday and because they’ve chosen to highlight him, numerous people will google his name and learn about the progress he helped make for our world against a disease that once crippled hundreds of thousands and is now almost completely extinct.
Amazing, huh? That one web banner can teach science, history, and medicine is a great testament to more than just the interwebs. It’s also an amazing statement that learning can be found and encouraged anywhere. Pedagogy and andragogy are amazing structures that help us codify learning but we (teachers hold your breath, you know I still value and respect you) don’t necessarily always need it. It, like so many other scaffolding tools in education, allow us to teach better and reach more students, no matter their age.
Learning changes the world. It can help you rise up out of poverty, create new vaccines, compose amazing music, design websites, send out e-marketing, produce events, program a VCR (does anyone use a VCR anymore?), etc. It’s powerful and simple at the same time.
We all get caught up sometimes in whether or not we are doing the thing the right way, or dwell down on how the thing is done, that we can forget how exciting it is that we get to do it. And we have that privilege because someone has taken the time to teach us or you’ve had the time (whether you wanted to or not) to learn how. I know I’m going to take a moment today and be thankful for that.