Merry Wanderer of the Night + nonfiction

Montaigne Readalong Week Six

The Montaigne Readalong is a year long project in which I try to read over 1,000 pages of Montaigne's essays. Every Monday I write about the essays I read for the week. You can share your thoughts or join the readalong if you'd like, just check the Montaigne Readalong schedule. You can read several of these essays for free on Google Books or subscribe to Montaigne's essays on Daily Lit.

Essays Read this Week:
1. Same design: differing outcomes
2. On schoolmasters' learning

Favorite Quotations:
"We are taught for the schoolroom, not for life." (Seneca, On schoolmasters' learning)

"Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own."(On schoolmasters' learning).

General Thoughts:
I had an intense connection with On schoolmasters' learning. I'm nearing the end of my third year in college and I've had a lot of frustration towards the university experience. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to go to college. I'm lucky to have great parents who help me pay for school and encourage me. I've had some great professors at the University of Iowa. And, after all, if I wasn't an English major this blog might not exist and that would be a shame.

That said, I don't know if I feel I've learned that much in college. In school we are required to learn a lot of information so we can take a test or write a paper, which is what Montaigne talks about in this essay. As Seneca said, "We are taught for the schoolroom, not for life." When I leave with my diploma will I really walk away any better off than I was when I came here? I will, but I'm not sure any of those things I've learned come from the classes I've taken or if they come from the experiences I've had. Life experiences. Experiences I might have had with or without college.

"We allow ourselves to lean so heavily on other men's arms that we destroy our own force." Is this the burnout I've experienced over the last year? Maybe. I feel like I'm constantly told what to think about something, what to see. I used to have my own opinions but now I have to prove everything I say using someone else's words. It's mind numbing.

1. If you're in school do you feel like we are fed knowledge without learning anything of value?
2. If you're out of school what do you think you came away with besides a degree?

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Montaigne Readalong Week Six + nonfiction