I am, part Internet (I am we)
I am, part Internet
We all are, actually. You can’t have Jared Lukes, as you know him, without the Internet.
I was discussing post-internet thinking with colleagues the other day, and the and shifts resulting in certain industries around delivery models.
I was struck by the thought that education was something that had always befuddled me and my experienced with it had been confusing. For example, in the US in high school, the format for learning was spending a very specific block of time learning. When I was growing up in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico I had merely curriculum and expectations of me. There was never a structure to how I spent my time.
My typical pattern was to drag myself into the learning room, hammer my studies out, complete my worksheets and head out the door to hike in mountains and catch lizards. Not always the case, some rainy days allowed me to come and go and learn in bursts. The test came each week, I just had to learn it. I was always ready for testing.
I was brought back to the US in 1992, and I joined Wayzata, MN school systems. Great teachers, awesomely expensive cars in the parking lot. I was lost. Confused. My grades dropped to a C average down from an A+, my assessments said I was several grade levels ahead of my entire class. In theory this would make learning in this structure a breeze, being ahead. Wrong.
It was the structure that killed me, all I could do was watch the clock. The outside air was calling me. Music & Art needed to be made, the world needed to be explored. I could not hack it.
I was strongly encouraged by Wayzata student counselors to explore Perpich Center for Arts in Golden Valley. At first they were going to save me. But they ended up kicking me out after only a semester. I had tested at 95+ on everything, but failed to do an ounce of homework. My attendance was also spotty.
I left school a year shy of graduation and worked gritty blue-collar jobs for about 10 years until landing on Ceramic tile, my father’s trade. I hated life as tile-setter, but every once in awhile my father would be stumped on some layout and I enjoyed feeling useful with my geometry aptitude.
I started my own tile company and as a result bought a house when I was 20. I was told all through school that I don’t apply myself. As I turned in for bed, as a 20-year-old homeowner, I was puzzled and wondered what the hell anybody knew about applying themselves.
A year later I bought a computer to help me organize my tile business. This was the end of tile-setter Jared. My computer dialed in [insert noise of modem connecting to the internet] and my mind had a homecoming right there..
I was BACK, back to learning finally! I could learn again. I loved it so much, I missed it so much. And ever since, I have never stopped. I was [as a kid] in the mountains, obsessed with learning and observation. I feel fortunate that the US school structure didn’t completely shut me down.
Learning is not done for x hours a day over x number years. It’s done every day. Our needs, curiosities and goals should drive us to learn daily. It’s on-demand, it’s a post internet learning utopia out there and I know there are many like me who would genuinely say, I am part Internet.
Today I am still self-taught in most subjects, but that only means I found the information and took the time to absorb it, it was all the amazing souls who share on YouTube, Harvard, Stanford, TED, Blogs, journals, Space Collective, Reddit, WikiPedia, and even just between each other over passion projects that have really taught me everything I know.
Thank you, those who SHARE KNOWLEDGE.