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April 29, 2015

Lifelong learning

April 28, 2015

It was about two miles in, with the Chicago sun in my eyes and my feet starting to hurt when my friend and coworker said, “Whoops. I think when I looked on Google maps and said it was a 13-minute trip, that was by car, not walking.” We laughed and continued on our way to the restaurant where we were rewarded with a truly fantastic meal and a respite for our aching feet.

Ah…lessons learned. First, even cute, comfortable shoes that aren’t actual athletic shoes can hurt after a few miles of city walking. Second, always double check the mode of transportation on Google maps. Third, if you’re going to slip up, you might as well do it with a friend and a healthy dose of laughter. Oh, and always take the waiter's recommendation and order the pulled pork sandwich at Little Goat. No, really. It's amazing.

When you get right down to it, we’re all learning lessons every day. Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been out of school for a pretty long time but I’ve never once considered that I’ve stopped learning. I’ve learned on the job, no matter what job it was. I’ve learned lessons from family, friends and strangers. I’ve picked up knowledge from books, speeches, newspapers, the Internet and many other places. I’ve gathered new information from travel, experiences and trying new things. Learning opportunities are everywhere – one just has to be open to them.

In fact, that’s why I’m in Chicago in the first place. My coworker and I are here to attend a conference about social media and content creation – the things we do every day. Even though we live and breathe those topics at the office, we’re both smart enough to know we can never stop learning. The world will not stop and wait for us to catch up.

Donald Allen is an MSU senior from Lansing, Michigan, who learned that lesson early on. He realized in high school that he loved learning about science. After he enrolled at Lansing Community College, he realized he wanted to learn more so he transferred to Michigan State to study human biology. He stretched his comfort zones for the sake of learning – joining a pre-professional organization and going on a medical trip to the Dominican Republic. It was on that trip where he decided he wanted to learn more – he wanted to become a doctor. His learning will continue when he officially becomes a member of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine class of 2019 in June. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Going beyond comfort zones to learn more about this determined young man.

Allen is looking forward to medical school and learning all he can from his professors and other students.

He might learn something from Rebecca Wyatt, who is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, and serves as medical director at Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, in Mason, Michigan. Wyatt doesn’t just stop at teaching students. She has firsthand experience with the rehabilitation of auto accident victims and shares her knowledge about the issue in this week’s FACULTY VOICE: No-fault protection.

Every day Spartans all over the world are learning. Spartans don’t shut down their brains as they walk out of the Breslin Center, diplomas in hand. Spartans use the knowledge they gained in school and continually build on it to become better at whatever they do. Spartans are open to new ideas and tenacious about finding better ways to change this world for the better.

Keep an open mind, be ready to learn and take advantage of everything life has to offer. Be a lifelong learner and use your power for good.

Spartans Will.


Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday

Photo of lunchtime learning at Landon's Heritage Commons Dining Hall by Derrick L. Turner


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