LEARNING IS FUN, A MUST. If you are not having fun in your learning, you are in a deep shit; not only you will not learn anything but worst, you will be living a dreadful life, especially if you are a learner or a student.
But this is the biggest challenge isn’t? How can we turn something that has been perceived by many and for so long, as the most BORING life-related activity ever? Everybody eats, watch TV, play games and go to school. The first three activities are always fun (except when you’re sick) but never the latter. But the TRUTH is, like any other life-related activities, LEARNING IS FUN, SHOULD BE AND ALWAYS BE! There is no reason for it not to be.
Actually, LEARNING CAN BE FUN if the process of learning contains these four aspects:
2. Driven by curiosity
4. Mathematics and Science
You might ask, “Only these four? Are you sure?”. “Yes, positive”, I would reply.
LEARNING IS FUN when it is easy. Memorizing is difficult and the sole reason for my ancient stance that LEARNING IS BORING; it is just too damn difficult. But how can it be easy? Learning is easy if you can hold on to the principle that makes up the argument in the first place. For example, 1+2 is 3, 10+20 is 30, 100+200 is 300, and so on. Easy isn’t? It is easy because you hold on to the principle of Addition; the rest is just the application of the same principle, applied to an increasing value of numbers.
LEARNING IS FUN if we can be curious about it. Human are born with curiosity and that what makes us human. I read (I couldn’t remember and don’t bother to find the exact quote at this instance), Einstein once said “One without curiosity is as good as dead”. But, the grand question remains, how can we be curious in our learning? In my observation, we start to be curious after witnessing some serial and recursive occurrences which leave us with the feeling of wanting to know what will happen next. In simpler words, we get curious when we start seeing patterns. This is it! We can be curious in our learning if we can trace or show some trace of patterns within the argument, making us wanting to know more.
LEARNING IS FUN when you can play with it. Playing is always fun, isn’t? But, how can we play in our learning? There can be two types of game that we can play; Guessing game and Wanabe game. This Guessing game is closely related to the previous discussion on pattern tracing. Once you traced the pattern, then you guess what’s going to happen next; that’s how you play it. For example, after reading some paragraphs on a topic and after you traced some patterns out of it, you then guess what is going to be in the upcoming paragraphs. Believe me, when you guess it right, you will be very happy but if you guess it wrong you will still be happy because that what game is all about, either win or lose, you will always get the ‘high’ out of it. If you keep doing this, believe me, you will get hook or addicted to these ‘highs’ and become ‘knowledge’ addict.
Another game that we can play is the Wanabe game. Although this will sound a bit kookoo, but believe me, it can really make a different. Let me give you an analogy. What keeps a ten year old boy playing football for hours without feeling tired is the imagination of being Messi. A guitar player will keep playing for hours imagining himself as Gary Moore on Still Got the Blues. This is therefore the reason for the compulsory watching of A Beatiful Mind, Pirate of Silicon Valley, The Arrow and many more bibliographical movie imposed onto my postgraduate students as well as the compulsory reading on Einstein, Feynman, Imam Ghazali, Syed Hossein Nasr and alike. I can read for hours because I am Feynman wanabe! It works you know!
Finally, LEARNING IS FUN if it contains mathematics and science because these are the enablers of the first three aspects which we have just discussed. “Ahah! I Knew it” you might say “He is no difference than the others. Simply because he understands a bit of math he thus said all these rubbishes. Should not he know better that math and science is the father of all BORINGNESS”. “Wait”, I would say. “I do understand your prejudice but if you can bear with me, I will show you that mathematics and science, either they kill the fun or they the ones that make LEARNING IS FUN”.
Now, I would be like any other Malaysian ‘philosophers’ who only know how to be rhetoric in their writing and words if I leave this article without a concrete demonstration on what have been said. So, I am going to demonstrate to you what I practice in my Theory of Structure’s lecture. It is going to be a bit technical though but don’t worry; you still can follow even if you are not trained in engineering. This is because, it is the ‘story telling’ is what important, not the equations. But, I am going to do this in Part 2, please wait for it.
(to be continued...)