How We Learn #2 – Missed Opportunities

palmyra (Above, Palmyra, Syria)

How We Learn – Missed Opportunities

In the last post, I discussed the ways in which some of my teachers discouraged learning. I also realized that my own family missed opportunities to help me understand the world.

At home in Beirut, Lebanon we had a curious way of ignoring the very world we lived in. My parents never thought of taking us to the many historic places which were very close to where we lived. There were Roman ruins at Baalbek in Eastern Lebanon which I did not see. I also didn’t get to visit the nearby old city of Damascus, Syria with its colorful souks (markets). I also never made the trip to Palmyra, Syria, which is now all the more regrettable because many of the sights are disappearing before our eyes. We had snow in the Lebanese mountains, yet we never went skiing. Perhaps I should not be too harsh on my parents. They were strangers in a strange land and my father’s main preoccupation was to adapt and survive which he did very well.

I have since learned to open my mind to science topics thanks to reading and listening to wonderful communicators like Neil DeGrass Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Lisa Randall. I will write about them next time.

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Alan Levine
Alan Levine
4 years ago

You’ve obviously been able to observe and we are lucky to have you to share it with us.

Jay
Jay
4 years ago

Hi Simone,
I enjoyed a lot these posts about your education growing up in Lebanon. You also acquired lifelong curiosity — a quality I greatly admire. This seems to keep people young, as you prove!

Deb
Deb
4 years ago

We consider our surrounding nature “taken as granted” and things start adding to wishlist so we accomplish them in near future. Rather we should live the present and stop postponing to future. Because Tomorrow will always be a riddle.

Io
Io
4 years ago

I like to learn from you Simone

Michael P
Michael P
11 months ago

I think it’s very common for people that live in an area that attracts visitors to avoid frequenting them. I’m sure there were many places that you visited that tourists would love to see but didn’t even realize they were there. What were your favorite restaurants there? Did you visit any of the museums? I’ve traveled parts of Europe and my favorite memories aren’t of the famous tourist sites but of the small neighborhoods.

Simone Klugman
Simone Klugman
11 months ago
Reply to  Michael P

When I was a girl we hardly ever went to restaurants. I learned to appreciate good food after I took French cooking lessons from French nuns.
My favorite memories of Lebanon were the summers we spent in the mountain resorts