Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The only sign of Learning is Change.

In one of my Marketing 101 classes, something the lecturer said gave me that lightbulb moment: "The only sign that learning has taken place, is change."

For research purposes on a story I'm writing for journalism class, I was looking at my high school yearbook tonight (the one from my graduating year), and my fond sideway grin quickly slipped away as I read, disappointed, at how average my writing was. The uncolourful language, the lack of original metaphors, the soulless reporting - it was just... not great. And then I wondered, what if I never got better?

What kind of editor was I, at 17? What kind of leader, when I can now clearly see that there were better writers than myself on my team? Must the leader be the best, or merely able to organise well and write well enough? What if my articles on YSK now, that I love and treasure so much, will be the same articles that I consider painfully average - when I look back at them in 5 years?

It's been said that people are often the worst judges of themselves. I may not be able to realise it, but my writing could've remained stagnant for the last 5 years. The thought horrifies me. If nothing changed, that means I didn't learn anything. Five years of English law, French philosophy, international economics, forgotten accounting, journalism seminars, media debates, film screenings ... if I didn't learn anything by now, I'd better freakin' start!

I'm going to start by reading. Reading as much as I can - because if there's anywhere I can improve my writing, it can only be by reading the works of better writers. I take comfort in the possibilities of improvement :)

Today's book haul: He's Just Not That Into You | Angela's Ashes