Graduate

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Teaching, Writing

It is that time if year. A time where we congratulate those who have completed their studies and are looking forward to no school for some amount of time. It is easy to think of the word, graduate, as only having the definition of “to be granted an academic degree or diploma” (free dictionary.com). I would warn all of us to not forget the second definition “to change gradually or by degrees/to advance to a new level of skill, achievement or activity.”

It is all too easy to see graduation as the end of a journey, a culminating event. As a result many people choose to relax, or worse, rest. People choose to no longer ‘graduate’. They cease to change or advance in any appreciable way.

I’m not saying that you need to constantly go to school. That only really works for the first definition. I m saying you should look for ways to move yourself forward as a human being. Let me give you an example:

For the past 4.5 years I have been teaching myself the bass guitar. At first I advanced quickly due to my musical background. Unfortunately I have stopped progressing as much recently. My playing has remained relatively unchanged. I thought I didn’t mind, but I knew I was lying to myself. Picked up book “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten. It is a ‘how to play music’ without any chords, charts, or songs really. I am in the first few chapters, but it got me to sit down with my bass and realize that I want to play music, not the bass. The bass was just the tool I was choosing to use. What. Profound change in my think. A graduation of my viewpoint on music in my life.

Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe not. I just can’t imagine sitting around and not doing something that allows me to advance. Whether it be in skill or activity is irrelevant, I just need keep changing. Otherwise, why am I here?

What about you? How will you “graduate” in the near future?

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