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Portrait of a Learning Addict

January 23, 2012

I have a learning addiction.

I’m taking an online class right now on branding and, at the same time, I’m teaching an online class on goal setting and time management. I bought two of my teacher’s books and have already started reading both. (Kristen Lamb’s Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer and We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.) I also took an online class in November about training your brain and helping it work better for you. The teachers, Susan and Harry Squires, also suggested a book (One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer), a sample of which I downloaded to my Kindle. If I can convince myself to pay $10 for it, I want to read the rest of that one, too.

I often find myself with a bigger To Do list than I can possibly accomplish. If I just stopped taking classes and reading books, I’d have skads of time!

And yet you know what I did last week? I looked up seminaries that offer online classes on faith and culture. I even found a class on faith and popular fiction – perfect! – and actually considered trying to enroll even though I really don’t have time or money to take another class right now. My student loans from my master’s degree in creative writing go into repayment next month, for Pete’s sake!

I think I need counseling.

What would a 12-step program for a learning addiction look like, anyway? Well, I’d have to stop taking any kind of class because you know how one just leads to another. The teacher of my branding class is going to teach a blogging class later. I don’t need to take it – and I could stop myself from signing up if I wanted to – but I’m probably going to take that one, too. Couldn’t hurt, right? Really.

Worse than not taking any more classes would be limiting my exposure to friends who are taking classes. They’d be talking about the cool stuff they’re learning and my eye would begin to twitch and my fingers would accidentally type out a Google search for classes and I’d soon be enrolled in “The Symbolism of Butterflies in the Romantic Comedy.” Or worse yet, I’d design and teach that course!

No, I think I should forego counseling and 12-step programs and just let nature take its course. What’s the worst that can happen? I already drool over new books and get heart palpitations when I see ads for the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute or ITT. I could totally be a motorcycle mechanic or a cash register programmer!

Please, friends, tell me what some of your addictions are so I don’t feel like the oddball. Or just let me know about an online class that would help.


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