Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Importance of Being Educated + A Chess Analogy

{Image by Janis Christy/Getty Images}

Okay, so the title of my post is sort of a lame attempt at word play -- The Importance of Being Educated/ The Importance of Being Earnest -- get it!? My post actually has nothing to do with the play so forget about that. What I want to talk about is education (duh!). Why am I talking about this? Because I've struggled with school my whole life, despite my belief that it is important. I also want to talk about it because I have recently been in the process of going back to school. Despite my love for writing, you should know that it doesn't pay my bills (you can read about that here), and even though my partner is extremely supportive of me and my creative endeavors, I have a need to contribute more, and to want to do more, than what I can make on my writer/waitress salary, hence my going back to school (also, it's not just the money, I just really don't like waitressing or working in retail). 
And I know you all are just aching to know what I'll be studying so I'll tell you ... duhn duhn duhn (*oh the suspense) ... I'm enrolled in a two year Paralegal program, along with slowly working towards my Bachelors in English (which has been a slow-going, lack-of-money attempt). 

I recently had some doubts about going into the program, doubts about moving in a direction that seems opposite of where I want to go (i.e. be a full-time freelance writer and make mega bucks by sitting in my home office and making my own hours, etc.), and I related my doubts to my partner. Even though I was starting to feel excited about this new direction in my life, I somehow had this idea that by studying something other than writing, that I was betraying myself and my future goals. What he said next totally blew my mind (in a good way) and I want to share it with you all:
Life goals are a bit like playing chess: your objective is to checkmate the 
opposite king, but to do so many things have to fall together. 

Sometimes, during a game, you will move an unimportant pawn, to lose a
turn, or see the opposing play unfold to better defend. This pawn,
unimportant at the time, might be the key to the final play, when you
finally checkmate your opponent. Similarly, in life, something that
seems unimportant at the time might become a key in
obtaining your life goal.

- My Guy

Ladies, you're going to have to back off because he's MINE!  ;p But what he said really opened my eyes. In non-chess terms, sometimes you have to go in a direction that seems opposite, or unimportant, to what you really want, but in the end it's all part of the journey. 
As for my belief in the importance of education, I really do stand by that; however, I do believe that life can be just as educational as a classroom, if not more. That being said, without the foundations I learned in the classroom, I wouldn't be half the writer I am today (and I could always be better) and I can't wait to continue with my journey and see where all the twists and turns will take me! 
What do you guys think? 
Do you prefer classroom education or life education, or a combo of both? 

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