Lifelong Learning

One of the “graduate attributes” that we are supposed to be developing in our students is a commitment to lifelong learning. I have always appreciated this one, as a lifelong fan of learning (also known as a professional nerd) myself. Let us do what we can to inspire students to continue discovering and researching and developing throughout their lives. As well as helping their careers, it will give them joy.

In recent months I have been reminded once again of the excitement I feel when I learn something completely new. This time it was not a research discovery, but a task related to my jataka database project, which is finally getting underway. Indeed, I must blog about it properly in the new year. But meanwhile, this is what I loved learning: how to structure relational databases.

No really.

Ooh it is so much fun! A whole different way of thinking about structuring information. And another language for relating to the tables, namely MySQL. I didn’t anticipate how interesting it would be to dip my toe into this new world. And, contrary to what you find on Indian religion, if you look for information about, say, entity relationship diagrams online, you find sensible and helpful resources. (And yes, I do now know what those are as well!)

And even as I shut down my office computer any moment now and declare it the holidays, I will be continuing to learn. I may banish the emails and even the work books for the next two weeks, but only so I can attend to my other projects: learning a new piece on the piano, learning to sew a dress, learning to knit slippers, learning what happens in the three novels currently sitting on my bedside table, learning how many chocolate oranges it takes to make me feel sick.

So allow me to wish you all a happy and learning-filled holiday season!

NOTE: I gather that WordPress adds advertisements to my posts. Please note that they are nothing to do with me, and that clicking on the links is at your own risk! I have been advised that one recent ad was fraudulent, so do watch out.



About naomiappleton

I work in the Divinity School at the University of Edinburgh, where I research and teach subjects related to South and Southeast Asian religions.
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1 Response to Lifelong Learning

  1. Your post reminds me of an afternoon I spent explaining third normal form to some nuns in their convent in the Philippines. I used MS Access to make a database for them. We didn’t have MySQL back then.
    Good luck with your database project. It sounds interesting.

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