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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

An Insatiable Appetite for Learning

Until reading our feature article by Linda Sechrist, “Lifelong Learning: Benefits of Being the Forever Student,” it had never really dawned on me that our brains are an organ which require we use-it-or-lose-it.

After giving up the opportunity to obtain a college degree from a local state college in Rhode Island after high school, and having already delved into the workforce, I had seemingly left behind the prospect of formal continuing education.

My siblings and I were raised in a rather protective environment and were discouraged, by our dad, from going to school. Remembering times overhearing Dad encouraging Mom to let us stay home was always a favorite since it would mean I got to stay home and play, though she rarely acquiesced.

I learned much later in life that this habit of overprotection stemmed from Dad losing an older brother in a swimming accident, when he was still a teenager. He had been so gripped by the fear of losing another loved one unexpectedly. The overprotection habit was his way of doing his best to keep us all safe and alive.

In school, I was an average student who did everything I could to avoid homework, studying or pretty much anything related to schoolwork. Using Cliffs Notes as my study guide for many an English test, I drifted through high school putting in the time with minimal effort.

Much has changed for me since those long-gone days of education- dodging. It seems the older I get, the greater the hunger and thirst for knowledge and growth becomes. Somewhere along the line I’ve developed an insatiable appetite for learning. The issue now becomes focusing my attention on what I want to learn most, next.

There are lots of fun learning experiences I look forward to in the future. I dropped the saxophone midway through ninth grade though it’s never fallen far off my radar. The desire to study piano and learn to speak Spanish tickle my mind now and then as does the desire to learn stone sculpture. So many options!

We’d love to hear what most piques your interest in learning as it relates to content that you’d like to see in the future, so feel free to send an email to [email protected].

Have a safe and happy rest of summer!



Maisie Raftery, Publisher