A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. – Mark Twain
Learning has always been an important part of my life. As a child, I couldn’t go to sleep unless I read a book first. I had a fairly limited budget and e-readers were not yet invented, which meant reading some books more than once. Okay, more than twice. The Outsiders. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Judy Blume. Jonathan Swift. I loved fictional stories of adventure, suspense, and life in general. I enjoyed biographies, historical accounts, and memoires. Not only did I love to read, I didn’t mind going to school. I admit it. I spent many an afternoon at my desk wishing I was already grown up, but I didn’t mind sitting in class
I’m older now, but I still like to read and learn. The Virgin Suicides. The Outliers. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. The Road. I read all kinds of books…plus medical journals. Sure, the journals are a little dry. They certainly won’t make the NY Times best-seller list. But they are vital to understanding my patients and improving my practice. If I can read and network with my colleagues, I learn from the best.
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. – Albert Einstein.
I also like to teach. It is a challenge all its own. No one will stretch your knowledge more than an eager student asking questions. Deciding to teach means you really need to know your stuff. Sometimes reading a journal article raises more questions than it answers. So, I practice. I Read. I ask questions. Then I read some more. I persist. Teaching requires courage and a sense of responsibility to the listener. It also means acknowledging that I don’t have all the answers.
At the end of it all, good education is packaged in a way that a consumer will understand. It will be fun. It will be practical. If a therapist can use something learned during a course in their clinic the next day, I consider that course a success.