Study the Classics

            In the “Study the Classics” learning pattern of the Apprenticeship Patterns book, the focus is on catching up with the well-known literature or practices in the field when your knowledge of theory is more limited. Luckily, I feel as though Worcester State has prepared me well with a mix of theory and practical, technical skill, but this pattern stood out to me, nonetheless. Sometimes, when talking with peers or reading online from people more experienced than I am, I find I can get bogged down in references to things I have no knowledge of. This usually detracts from what I was initially trying to find out about. There’s more than enough “good” material out there for many, many lifetimes worth of learning. What concerns me is finding the right material and learning about it in the best path. Even if I can find all the proper materials for my learning goals, working through it can be difficult or impossible if I don’t go about it in the correct way.

            As the pattern mentions, exposing your ignorance is as essential part of opening yourself up to learning. This is something I don’t think I really have a problem with, as I usually try to put my ego to the side when taking on new tasks. What I really need to start doing is also mentioned in the pattern: keep a reading list and read constantly. I’m not great on this front. Perhaps these are particularly difficult tasks for college students because most of our work comes outside of our courses anyways, but I could definitely stand to try more, especially once I’m out of college.

            I also find difficulty in using the classics to inspire more current learning. I do feel confident applying my knowledge to new topics (I feel confident that my knowledge is translatable) but discerning the relevant material from the outdated in the first place can be difficult. This is a very handy skill and I think it probably comes with an expanded knowledge base anyways. As long as I get on the road of continued learning and studying the classics, I think this skill should develop.

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