Hi, My Name is Mark. I’m a Recovering Learner.

For today I’d like to discuss something a little more serious. This is more of a stream of consciousness, something I can’t articulate so well. There’s no real point to it, but I feel like writing, and this is the appropriate medium. Let us begin.

His hair is beautifully parted!

I have a flaw of the most confusing kind. It’s not definitively good or bad, per se. It’s a flaw that offers benefits and cons. I am completely incapable of balance. I’m speaking of “the balance” of one’s life, the ability to maintain personal, professional, and possibly school-related goals. It’s a sort of Star Wars-esque force that either makes us all happy or makes us stressed out and bitter. The balance, as it’s called, is something I don’t understand. When I have an interest, when I find something that draws my attention, I dive headfirst into that thing. Like a Viking en route to a pillage-able countryside, I unleash all my energy into that topic. I want to know everything about it. I want to conquer it in every way. When I walk into a dinner party, I want to be the pompous jerk whose “expertise” is unparalleled on that issue.

Unfortunately for me, that habit isn’t really conducive to real life. You can’t drop all your responsibilities because you find something that interests you. Just because you like clock-making, or painting, or the chemical makeup of a desk, doesn’t mean you can spend all your time learning about it. You still have work, school, and other stuff, right? Well, for some reason my mind doesn’t work that way. I cannot stop thinking about something that I’m interested in. I can’t stop until I know all there is to know.

This picture is here because it prevents my blog from being a long block of text. :)

Even worse, once I devour all the information on a topic, I’m done with it. Once I figure something out, I have no use for it. This happens with everything, even people. I’m on my way to becoming a doctor. I’m 2/10 years into it, and I want it bad. However, I know that once I become a doctor, once I feel like I’ve learned everything about the profession, I won’t have any interest in being a doctor. Once I know all there is to know, I’ll move on to the next thing. It’s scary.

The flaw I’m speaking about is some perverted form of intellectual curiosity. Because of it, I know a lot of stuff. I learn a lot of things. I’m successful, but I’m never content. I have no ability to be contented, and I have no ability to “enjoy” things. Maybe every student feels this way. Maybe we’re all ingesting so much information that it’s impossible to simply sit down and live. Hurray for living!

5 Responses

  1. Toni Aho Says:

    This is interesting-and I don’t know if any of this is reflective of our conversation or not :) I find that learning for the sake of learning is valuable & you are on a mission to learn only as it relates to getting you to your specific goal…but at the same time recognize that learning is powerful…if I’m reading this right?

    Maybe you will consider what it means to you to be a doctor-we need to do the values card sort :)

  2. Mark Tasker Says:

    It’s related to our talk, but it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for awhile. It’s more of how I approach life generally. I learn about something, discard it, and move on to the next thing. To me, medicine is the profession I would be most successful in. It fits my skill set. Sometimes I just feel like I can never keep anything for long periods because I’m constantly barreling through new things (in an effort to to learn about them). Knowledge is the only power worth striving for, sure, but sometimes I’d like to be able to turn my brain off and just enjoy things.

  3. George A Wisniewski Jr Says:

    Omg! this is why Marker is the man! Loved this blog. Never be content!!!…. you are a true viking Mark!

  4. Jay Says:

    Have you become a Wikipedia contributor? You should. It allows you to contribute to our shared knowledge. Try it. It’s addictive.

  5. Theresa Card Says:

    Mark, there is nothing wrong with you, you’re a Scanner! So am I! Barbara Sher coined the term, and has written a few books on the subject, they are really eye-opening and a very different perspective on what it means to be a scanner. I’ve really enjoyed reading her stuff. Have a great day! -Theresa

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