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Love of Lifelong Learning, part 2

May 1, 2013

I spoke with a friend about home schooling this morning when I remembered this unfinished project.  I love homeschoolers because children need more than what is offered in public school, and no woman-readingone knows their child as well as an attentive parent.  A passion for learning is important because school may earn you a living, but lifelong learning will earn you a fortune.  I am not denigrating either college or advanced degrees, but I am pointing out their limitations.  Formal education must fan a student’s passion, and education is a failure if the student stops learning when they leave.  Every successful person I know continues to learn every day.  Let me inspire you with a few more examples.

Bill Lear never completed high school.  He read widely and was self-taught about radio engineering.  Lear developed radios for early automobiles.  His companies developed early radio direction finding equipment and one of the first business jets.

Christopher Columbus is reported to have gone to sea at the age of 10.  He had traveled the Mediterranean by land and sea, and to England and Ireland by the time he was 26.  Columbus learned Latin, Portuguese and Castilian as well as his native Italian dialects.  He studied astronomy, geography, and history, including the works of Ptolemy, Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly‘s Imago Mundi, the travels of Marco Polo and Sir John Mandeville, Pliny‘s Natural History, and Pope Pius II‘s Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum.  He led a sailing expedition to North America.

Frank Lloyd Wright attended high school in Madison Wisconsin but never graduated.  He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison for two years and left without receiving a degree.  He started as a draftsman in Chicago when he was 20 and started his own firm when he was 26.  He designed more than 1000 structures in his lifetime.

Frederick Henry Royce (of Rolls-Royce) spent one year in school.  Royce was nine years old when he was forced to drop out and sell newspapers and deliver telegrams because his father died.  Royce worked as a railway apprentice, worked with a toolmaker and in a lighting company making street and theatre lighting.  He was a founding partner in an electric fitting shop which grew into a generator and electric crane company.  He was dissatisfied with early automobiles and set out to build and sell his own, including the engine.  By 1931, his engines were used in the fastest aircraft in the world.  Royce died in 1933 but the direct decedents of his engines were responsible for England surviving the Air Battle of Britain in 1940.

George Eastman was educated at home and largely self-taught, though he attended some school between the ages of 8 and 16.  He started a successful photography business, and at the age of 30, he patented roll film for photography (Before Eastman, early photographs were made on treated glass plates.)  At 34 he developed a commercial camera using roll film and at 38 he established the Eastman Kodak company.  Eastman donated over 100 million dollars to charities.

More to come.


Rob the inspired

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