“The Pleasure of Finding Things Out”
I remember the day my father introduced me to Richard P. Feynman by way of his book, “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.” I remember because it was one of the few times in my life where I read something that made so much sense to me. It was so simple, yet so beautiful.
If I had to title a book today that represents what I believe knowledge and learning has come to, it would be this: “The Fleeting Pleasure of Getting In.” The other day at my daughter’s high school I saw a flier posted in a classroom with the title in large print - Some elite universities only spend eight minutes on your application.
I’m sure that was there as cautionary advice, giving information to students that is accurate. I didn’t read it that way at all. You see, I had been sitting in the Academic Center for an hour, supervising students who came in for tutoring, a quiet space to work, or to print materials for a class.
I spend one hour in the life of these students, per week. For me that hour represents 60 minutes that I am giving other staff members to dedicate to making their day more productive. Meanwhile those same 60 minutes give me the opportunity to observe.
On the day when I saw that flier about some elite universities only spending eight minutes on an application it occurred to me why “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” is not always an option today for many people. Everything seems to be about the results, and how fast one can get there.
I guess if people like it that way, there isn’t much to say. But I don’t like it that way, and I never have. That’s my point. I’ve gone around our sun 43 times and I still come around being attracted to the pleasure of finding things out over the fleeting pleasure of getting in.