You know I love podcasts. I have been falling behind, though, as my dog walking time has shrunk and my listening time has lessened. There are some I make the effort to keep up with, say, in the grocery store or *gasp* vacuuming.
One of those is Your Morning Basket*, and yesterday's new episode on Memorization Techniques (YMB #24: A New/Old Look at Memory Work: A Conversation with Dr. Kevin Vost) offered much fodder for contemplation including this idea - not a direct quote, but close enough:
Curiosity is a vice while studiousness is a virtue.
In our culture, curiosity is generally lauded - a mind willing to learn and gather knowledge and information. Open to ideas and concepts. Yet the old maxims often denigrate curiosity: "Curiosity killed the cat." Why is this?
Dr. Vost indicated that curiosity indicated an undisciplined mind - one that is suceptible to every new idea. It is a mind that is taken off the track that one ought to be following, easily distracted by "every wind of doctrine". Can curiosity lead us astray?
This stands in opposition to studiousness which is capable of sustained, deep thought. A mind that is capable of contemplating the ideas of the past and coming to deep conclusions about them. The studious person is not easily distractable from the task or the study at hand. Can a habit of studiousness open our eyes?
This is not in opposition to the grand feast or generalization vs. specialization ... these are the ways we train our children to be studious by studying established ideas in many areas of study but allowing depth in areas that fit our child's gifts and talents.
If you're walking in a field and find a well in a particularly green glade of grass do you suppose the grass is green because of the overflow from the well, or was the well dug in that spot because it was obvious water would be found. That metaphor has stuck with me as I teach my children.
The children have all taken piano lessons for a number of years. Two of them have a certain aptitude and gifting when it comes to music. One of them is like me. We have allowed her to look for other places to dig while the other two have added an instrument. They have become more studious with music. She is trying other arts like drama and NaNoWriMo.
This isn't curiosity for the sake of curiosity or trivia. It isn't a dipping the mind into many all at once, rather a studious, intentional way of seeking what God has given to her. This is seeking after wisdom.
The irony, of course, is that this topic is not at all what the podcast episode was about. I latched onto a throw-off idea that was passed by quickly, but it has given me food for thought today and will in the days to come. I'd like to try the memory technique - the memory palace - Pam and Dr. Vost discussed. That's going to take more practice and doing.
[*Nota bene: I am not an affiliate for Pam, but I do some VA work for her. If you purchase from her site, it benefits me and my children's music lesson fund.]