I took it to heart what my college professors used to tell me about creating lifelong learners, although I have always considered my self one. As evidence I'd like to offer the following evidence: My favorite channels on TV are Discovery, History, Discovery Science, etc. I love reading books that I can learn things from such as Stephen Ambrose's work specifically on World War II. In short, I love learning new things. I got a chance to learn something new this week about the plants growing wild on my property.
My family and I moved to five acres in the woods about a year ago. The previous owners landscaping around the property was haphazard at best. Last Friday while scouting a location for my vegetable garden I encountered some odd looking plants growing in an area where the previous owners had attempted to plant some trees and had also added some ornamental grasses. The odd plant in question had seven leaves and looked like pictures I'd seen on t-shirts. To boil it all down, it looked like marijuana growing.
I debated with myself about what to do for several days. I really didn't want anything of the sort growing where I could be liable, legally speaking. I inquired as to the horticultural knowledge of my neighbors and friends and most, like me didn't really know what it was. I did some searching on the Internet and learned all about how to grow it, indoors and out, how to care for it, when to harvest it, how to dry it, and everything else that I really didn't want to know but not how to identify it. Finally I chose the safest thing to do was call the drug task force associated with our county sheriff's department.
I contacted them yesterday and the detective told me that he could be out to my place within the hour. When he arrived with his partner in plain clothes, looking like degenerate bikers with badges and guns we took a walk. After one quick glance they told me that it was a common ditch weed and in no way narcotic. I was relieved!
On reflecting back I realized that I now had a deeper knowledge of a subject that had until now been foreign to me and had it not been for my inquisitive nature and my love for learning I would have likely mowed it over and never given it another thought. While I don't want to encourage knowledge of illicit subject matter in my students, I would certainly agree that any educator who can influence that love for learning and personal growth of knowledge is doing a very successful job!
Ed U. Cayshun