Like my grandfather before me, my education has continued throughout my lifetime. Not by entering the hallowed halls of the institutions of higher learning, but by entering the massive shelves of books offered by the public library.
I called him Big Daddy and he was my grandfather. He grew up a farmer and had only an eighth grade education according to his academic records. When speaking with him a person could determine that he had carried himself far past that recorded level of education. He knew what was important about true learning. He knew that the person who hungers for learning finds the answers for himself.
He loved to read books. Zane Grey westerns were a favorite. He devoured issues of Readers Digest often delighting in quizzing me on the meaning of words. He showed his pleasure when I knew the definitions of words he had only recently learned himself. It meant I was getting an education. He wanted an excellent education for his children and grandchildren. He asked questions. He had a critical mind. He was not arrogant about knowledge that he gained. He just continued to seek to learn more.
My wall is painfully short on the diploma's that I set out to obtain. I earned a high school diploma. I finished a paralegal course. I attended college. I completed a variety of programs during my employment in corporate America.
What has served me best were the lessons I learned about learning. Whether it was learning the principles being discussed in the meetings I attended or how to bake artisan bread or milk a goat, I would find a book. I have so often heard, "You can't learn that from a book.", only to smile and know that I can learn a whole lot from a book.
I want a good college education for my children but more than anything I hope that I can instill in them the lifelong love of learning and how to teach themselves the things they need to learn.