Retirement is a time for learning things that we never had time to learn before. When I did serious study, through the years, it was almost always with regard to work. Now, it’s unbelievable that I can actually study subjects that I enjoy. It’s like a new world is open to me.
There was a time that I really enjoyed learning new things, but that was a long time ago. I was a student in engineering at OSU, and I discovered the endless shelves of the five-story campus library. It was probably an act of rebellion because I enjoyed learning new things over doing my coursework. The subject that caught my attention, that I kept coming back to, was the philosophical debates of Europe and the Enlightenment. One book led to another. Some were in French. So I had to learn French in order to understand the books. Those were the days! Then life happened.
Now I’m free again. These days, I browse the shelves of the Edmond municipal library. Did you know that during World War II, the Army Air Corps accidentally bombed a town in the Oklahoma panhandle? I found it in a book. And I don’t feel guilty for learning that useless bit of Oklahoma trivia. But my real interest is in exploring the profound questions for science and faith. Everything seems related to it, so I’ll never exhaust my quest for knowledge.
The library isn’t the only source of archived knowledge, because seniors can audit classes for free at a limited number of colleges in Oklahoma. Imagine the possibilities! I’ve taken classes in history, religion, and literature for free, and the experience has been unbelievable. No tests or grades, only the joy of learning. There’s nothing like it for the passionate learner.
Of course, there’s also the Senior Center, the Internet, and Francis Tuttle. Turn off the TV; get out of the chair; and learn something new.