Taught Somewhat in All the Learning of My Father

What would Nephi’s education been like?

Well one thing for sure, traditional school’s in Nephi’s day were significantly different than they are today. Today the only thing religious that can be taught in school is the so-called constitutional “separation of church and state,” (which, interestingly, is never mentioned once in the constitution in any form). Nephi’s education would have been so immersed in the scriptures that it took precedence over math, science, art, and geography combined. He would have been taught reading, writing, and history intensely, mostly because it’ a vital part of scripture study and record keeping.

The bible dictionary talks about the kind of education Jesus would have received in His time, and I think the basic education system would have been the same in Nephi’s time.

“The divine law impressed upon parents the duty of teaching their children its precepts and principles, but little is known about the methods of teaching that were employed. Up to six years of age a child was taught at home, chiefly by the mother (cf. 2 Tim. 1: 5). The schools that all boys from six years old had to attend were generally held in the synagogues. Until a boy was ten no textbook was used but scripture. The aim was to encourage study by sense of duty rather than by reward or fear. Reading, writing, and grammar were taught, and in order that teaching might be thorough, no class even in the elementary school might exceed 25 pupils. The “religious question” could not exist in Jewish education any more than in Church schools today, for the whole purpose of education was religious. Nothing was regarded as worth learning except as it illustrated scripture. At home probably Bible stories were taught as with us, but the regular course at school began with the first seven chapters of Leviticus, so that a boy might know what outward acts were required of him; then the rest of the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the remainder of the O.T. ”
Bible Dictionary, Education

Wouldn’t that be an awesome way to do school? What I find interesting is that Laman and Lemuel would have received the same kind of education. I guess it shows how much role agency plays in our education – secular and spiritual.

I Live in a Mansion

moon

talltab1I live in a mansion.  There are so many rooms, and so many doors, that it would take more than a lifetime to explore what is in them all.  From one room, I can explore the sciences, and watch the progression of the stars and planets.  I can chart the known universe and discover things that it has taken mankind centuries to understand.
talltab1 From another, I can learn the religions of the world, make connections with things divine, and come to a deeper understanding of why people are the way they are.
talltab1 From another, I can become my own symphony, and follow the practices of the master composers.  I can perfect the principles they have learned and carry them on to new levels.
talltab1 There is a room in my house where I can practice medicine and learn how the human body works.  In this room, I can also learn how to strengthen the powers within my own body through exercise, activity, proper nutrition and rest.
talltab1 In one of the larger wings of my mansion, I can enter a fantastic world with creatures and people that most people only meet in dreams and movies.  I can converse with them, and in essence, leave the world entirely through time machines and spaceships.
talltab1 I have rooms that bare the perfect resemblance of locations all around the globe.  I have been to Egypt, China, South America, and Africa without having to leave my home.
talltab1 In my favorite room, I have met the Savior and His prophets.  I have come to know God, and converse with Him regularly.  I have met Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and John the Baptist.  I have met the reformers and those who took part in the great restoration of the Gospel.
talltab1 I have visited many of the rooms in my mansion, and plan to visit many more.

talltab1 My house is small, and my means are meager.  But in every room, there are books.

The Makeshift Degree: Adlibing an Education without Going to School

photo-8

Okay, so obviously the most ideal way to get an education in most fields is to go to college, and for many jobs out, it is required.  But let’s face it, there are so many fields out there.  If you’re like me, you have so many interests that it is impossible for you to get a college education in all of your interests.
Also, many people are not in a position to go to college at the moment.
Here are a few ideas for getting an education outside of the school system:

Internet Sources:

The Internet has an endless supply of phenomenal information in thousands of fields.  You’ve just got to know where to look for it.  Here are a few sites I like – (maybe not Ph.D material, but interesting stuff nonetheless):

  1. http://google.com – good ol’ Google search.  You can learn just about anything with that… *
  2. http://www.youtube.com/edu – you know about Youtube.  Well, this is a branch of Youtube that specializes in good educational material.  Not just anyone can get stuff on here, so it’s a big step up from regular Youtube, and it’s a fun source of learning in all kinds of fields.
  3. http://www.ted.com/ – again, not a place to earn a degree, but if you want to get excited about learning, this is a fun place to go.  TED is a collection of fascinating lectures (yes, lectures CAN be fascinating!) that give an interesting perspective on various fields.
  4. http://www.openculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html – if you prefer getting your information from reputable colleges, here’s a directory of podcasts that are done by colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, etc.  Just putter around the site to find the subject you’re looking for.

Books

  1. Check the Thrift Stores: As soon as a book becomes obsolete (by college standards that can mean the book has been published for a year and a half and now the photos in the book need to be reorganized), the thrift stores such as D.I. fill up with college textbooks.  After I paid nearly $100 for an astronomy book in college, I found a stack of twenty of them at D.I. the next semester for two bucks a piece.  Ugh… but that’s good for people who are wanting an education outside of school.
  2. Libraries:  They’re still around, believe it or not.  In this “Google any question” era that we live in, this is easy to forget.  Pick a topic, go to the library, and read all you can on the subject.
  3. School libraries: Most school libraries are open to the public.  You may not be able to check things out without a student card, but you can read what you want while you’re there, and if you take your digital camera, you can get instant copies of pages you want to read more about.

This is NOT a comprehensive list.  Fill us in!  What ways have you found for educating yourself on different topics?

* Clearly there is a lot of junk out there, and one of the great purposes of education is to train you to recognize credibility and bias.  You need to learn to check the sources on information.  Just because it sounds legit, or the information is worded in an educated manner doesn’t mean the content is of any real value.  The best lies are coated in great disguises.  So check your sources!

Read more entries with tips and ideas!

Fun with Telemarketers 4: Chum Buddies

Hooda thunk?  My old buddy from high school called!  Okay, so he thought I thought he was an old buddy…

Anyway, enjoy!

Jenniology – The Meaning Behind the Music

play-button2

Jenniology – The Meaning Behind the Music

img_3389

Tab 2 It took me awhile to decide what to study in college.  I had a lot of interests, and narrowing it down was difficult.  By the time it was time to sign up for school, I had it down to either music or genealogy.  I loved studying family history, and I thought it would be cool to go into a profession where I could help others with theirs.  But ultimately I knew I was more passionate about music.  Besides, I spent a lot more time practicing and thinking about music than I did genealogy, so I decided on music.
tabIt wasn’t until I had been going to college for a few years that I realized what I really wanted to have as my life study.  With only a few credits needed to get my Associates degree in music, I met Jenni.  She was the sweetest and prettiest girl I had ever met.  After a year of bumpy on and off dating, I asked her to marry me – the best choice I could have made.  It was then that I pledged myself to the study of Jenniology.
tabWe have been married since October 6, 2004, and I love her now more than EVER.  She is AMAZING!!!!  I am now a full time Jenniologist, and I am learning more every day.  Here are a few random Jenniology facts that I have learned already:

Tab 2Jenni loves candy – especially fruity candy, like Sprees and Bottlecaps.
Tab 2Jenni’s hair curls in a water fight.
Tab 2Jenni’s laugh makes any bad day great.
Tab 2Jenni has taught me that full-time motherhood is the best career possible.
Tab 2There’s nothing in the world like cuddling up to a sleepy Jenni.
Tab 2Eternal family is worth any price.  In fact, it’s worth every price.

Tab 2And she’s teaching me more all the time.  I love her, I love her, I love her!!!  Thanks, Jenni, for being who you are and letting me be your most dedicated student!

Read the meaning behind the music for more of Chas’s original pieces

People Pile

people-pile.jpgWhen I was in the fourth grade, I was coming in from recess one day with my sister, when we noticed an unusual commotion in the doorway of the school. As we got closer, we saw that there was a large pile of kids stacked 3 feet high, each kid shouting and struggling to get out of the pile. I don’t know how they got that way, but they looked so ridiculous that I laughed out loud. I pointed, saying to my sister, “Look at that! It’s a pile of people!” Suddenly someone bumped into me from behind. The next thing I knew, I was at the bottom of the pile. Well, almost at the bottom – I could feel an arm under me. Kids piled atop me, and I screamed with the rest. It was another minute or so before a teacher was able to get the pile sorted out and the kids all standing again. I remember going to class with a puffy wet face, and a feeling of utter humiliation.

I’ve thought of that situation many times since then, and it makes me laugh nearly every time I do.

It’s easy to laugh at life when I look at it from a safe distance, but when I get shoved into the pile, it stinks. Everyone clamoring to get above me while I’m just trying to get out of the pile. Pounding my fists while my head is being pressed to the floor, I wonder how I ever got myself into this stupid situation.

Sometimes I think of the people pile as an analogy of society – no one wanting initially to get into the mess of it, but once they do, they want to be at the top of the pile. What a strange system we have!

But there is another, simpler lesson that I get from this story. Thank heaven for memory. And thank heaven for perspective, which can turn a horrible situation into a humorous one. It takes work, but it if I’m willing to take a moment to think about it, I can find humor in nearly every challenge, and doing so makes life much more interesting. After I am clear of humiliation and danger, the worst piles in my life make some of the best stories. The worse the fix, the better the story.

So the next time you find yourself at the bottom of the pile, with your face being rubbed into the hardwood floor, just think of what a great story it will make later.