Monday, March 22, 2010

Live & Learn

Lousy riddle:
Q.: How do you drive an autodidact?
A. Don't have to; it drives itself.
Today's Birthday Person is Louis L'Amour, born up in North Dakota because that's where his parents were on the 22nd of March, 1908; Louis was very young & wanted to be near them. Why am I writing about this old buster? He was an autodidact, a self-taught person. Best known as a Western tale-wrangler, he wrote a not-so-very-good book called Education of a Wandering Man. Along with his rambles and hard-scrabbles as a circus hand, seaman, lumberjack, boxer, and writer are his lengthy reading lists. What hungry-minded Louis lacked in formal education, he made for in reading of the voracious kind, as did many a soul whom I've admired:
George Washington
Abigail Smith Adams
Harry S. Truman
Buckminster Fuller
Malcolm X
Leonardo da Vinci
Benjamin Franklin
Frederick Douglass
Abraham Lincoln
Thos. Alva Edison

Now, this is what musician Frank Zappa is said to have said about educating oneself:
"Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read." Of course, he's also quoted as saying that tobacco was his favorite vegetable. Been there. Smoked a lot of that.
Here's what Louis L'Amour wrote, and why I wanted to tip my cowboy hat to the old, long-dead dude on his birthday:
“Actually all education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.”
Yippee ki yay, I say.
I'd write some more, but I'm going to go, by golly, learn something. Later this week, it'll be my job (the best part of it) to go off gassing to innocent school children. I'll so want to tell them You're all HERE! Right bang in the middle of a banquet of Knowledge - Eat it up! It's not just your teachers' jobs to stuff your passive little noggins. Own your minds! Feed 'em, for crying out loud!
okay. less coffee for Cheryl. more books.

1 comment:

  1. "If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library. " Frank Zappa

    I smile. My eyes rise heavenward.