Monday, July 7, 2008

[aw-toh-dahy-dakt ]

I have a confession to make.

I have an illness that may never be cured.

I am an autodidact.

"What's that?", you ask.

Well let me first ease your worries and let you know it's not a REAL illness, just a metaphor (Relax Mrs. Angela and Emily, don't have panic attacks.) An autodidact is a person who has a thirst for knowledge that can not be quenched through traditional schooling methods. So, after all is said and done, and my pretty little college diploma is hanging on my wall, I still feel like I have a ton to learn.

And let me tell you what... I am in good company! Socrates, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Edison were all autodidactics.

The real problem is that I don't feel that my education taught me very much. Sure, I learned all of the names of great educational philosphers, and I know how to teach a child addition without saying "add," but do I really know anything about history, biology, math (pshhhh, we all know that I have very little knowledge about that one!) The basics are what I seem to be missing!

So, about a week ago, I set out to fix this little problem. I researched and there is this AMAZING thing called "Open Course Ware," which allows you access to entire classes from schools like Notre Dame, MIT, and John Hopkins. You get the syllabus, access to all of the podcasted lectures, and do the assignments- All for free!

I figure I will start a couple of those in the fall, probably Biology, Cultural Anthropology, International Nutrition, and Introduction to Economics.

For now however, let me fill you in on what I have been doing.

This is a World History textbook of Ian's. He took AP World and apparently kept his book. I did not take AP that year. I think because I was focusing on swim and was trying water polo that year. Definately a large gap in my education.

This is a picture of my gigantic timeline. It is over 20 pieces of paper long and is not yet completed. So far it stretches from 500 BC to 200 AD- one page per 50 years. The idea is that if you fill out one consecutive timeline, you are able to remember more of history because you can "place" the events in the right area of time, (one of the biggest problems students face is their lack of historical understanding.)

Close up of the timeline. I'll keep you updated as I fill it out and extend it!

This is a book of 823 words that "every person" should know. I do 5 words a day, writing their name and definition on an index card, then reviewing the entire stack all mixed in.

This is the French book. I took french for 3 years in high school, and 2 semesters in college. Unfortunately, that really got me nowhere. I have a big sense of stage fright of things like practicing speaking french out loud, playing the piano in front of an audience, or anything that I could potentially "mess up," on and feel dumb over. I am working on that. I do about 15 pages in this a day, and it's a great book!

This is a book of devotionals that I am working on. Some may not really consider it learning, but I enjoy reading it because it contains stories from all over the world that I am learning from other people's experiences! 3-4 pages a day in this one.

This is my Bible Study, but it is really something you would expect from a Christian university or seminary. It goes really into depth, analyzing the people and the places, looking into word root and origins. I really enjoy this and try not to rush through it. 5-10 pages a day, depending on how much time I have.

Okay, so, I'm a dork. So what?

No, really. What do you think?


Emily said...

Brittney, my love, you know what I think? You need to apply for the Master's degree!!!! Get the blooming GRE over with while you still have some idea of how to get through a test and then research what UF has to offer in Master's programs! All of that stuff you're doing online, you could be getting Master's credits for!! Okay- I know they're free and it's AWESOME- but trust me- if you get out of the hang of school - you will have a tough time ever going back!!
I speak from experience! It has been 11 years since I've taught professionally and now in order to even be considered for a position, I need a Master's degree!! I barely passed the SAT with my life and nerves in tact in 1987 and I'm pretty certain that the GRE is way harder now than if I had done it back in the dark ages of 1992!!! I have a husband,4 kids, 4 pets, and aging parents that all need my attention. Tell me, where am I supposed to find the uninterrupted time to study to pass the test that will help me get through the GRE to even begin the coursework for a Master's?!
I'm telling you what nobody told me when I was young and had open time! Even if you don't use the Master's right away, you'll have it! No one can take it away!! My Bachelor's degree is worth very little now because I don't have the years of professional advancement and the Master's degree to back it up.
Brittney, you are a gifted student, and I know you are a gifted teacher! My children have been blessed first hand by your passion for knowledge that you've passed on to them! What if God has given you this thirst for knowledge and this open time so that you have the stamina to strive for more academically? Maybe you're not only meant to teach children, but also those who want to become teachers- maybe you are meant to be a professor of education?!
Besides, you have a very cute hubby to study with! You can cheer each other on! Think of how fun the study breaks can be!! :) Okay, I'll do anything to motivate you to keep up school! I'm quite certain I've made both you and Ian blush now! ;) Forgive me! Love ya both!

Anonymous said...

Augh, if you're a dork, so am I. It's ok, I still love you! PLUS, I am the same way I think. It must be genetic...

Angela said...


WHERE do I begin.



I'm trying to gather myself here.

First I am LMBO that you ASKED for opinions, because you KNEW Emily wasn't gonna resist THAT opportunity ROFLMBO!!!!!! :)

Britt.....I used to always wonder..."this child....she is so perfect. How is it that she is not MINE? I love her so.....why does she get to belong to Jim and Marsha????

so....after reading todays blog, I have all the answers I'll ever need. ROFL ROFL ROFL.

You are brilliant, beautiful, and have a heart of gold. Yes, a little freakish on the whole "learning thing" LOLOLOLOL but very very loved, nonetheless.

oh but BTW....if you EVER start out by saying that you have an "incurable disease or illness" or whatevs again........ I'll kill you.

Marsha C said...

Well, all I can say is if you are a dork, you are MY Beautiful, adorable, highly intelligent (not sure where you got that from)dork. I Love You,