Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

July 28, 2009

The question is the answer...

I discovered late in life that having a good question to ask is one of the keys to learning for me. Some religious people don't want their kids to question too much for fear they might question themselves out of their faith. I think if faith and testimony are correctly taught and modeled, good questions will only expand true knowledge and not threaten it, especially when there is real conversion. True religion should circumscribe all truth and not be afraid of it. I was always afraid to ask clarifying questions in class when I was in a learning situation, from grade school to college, for fear of revealing my roving mind. I know I was an ADD kind of kid, daydreaming when important things were being taught, then realizing I had missed something but too afraid to ask what I'd missed.

Some kids seem to be like sponges and soak up and memorize everything they're taught. I am one who doesn't learn well unless I have a question in mind which is answered by what I'm taught at the time. If I have a question that I'm not being given an answer to by someone at the time, I'll lose the question and never pursue it - or ask it by happenstance later perhaps. Or sometimes I have the wrong question for the right answer. To learn a curriculum, I can take a lot of notes, but they will mean little if I haven't engaged myself in the subject matter along the way and always have continuing questions in mind as I study that subject. But note taking does enhance memory and at least record important ideas.

I think my kids' learning has been like mine - not much stuck early in life, but later has become more important as their life questions occur and they seek and find answers to deeper questions on their own from the best sources. And then it is really important to connect that knowledge to other knowledge so it's not just random facts about a myriad unconnected things. But as to life's greatest mysteries? You've got to ask the right questions to get the right answers - and therein lies the greatest challenge...asking the right questions, knowing what it is you don't know and how to know it...so I read a lot, talk to others about their lives, not just for knowledge but to stimulate questions that lead to more knowledge ...now does that make sense? Or am I up in the night? See, I'm asking more questions, which I have a lot more of than answers...and some of my "Doug Daze: More Q's then A's" is all about that very phenomenon. More of that next time perhaps...

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