self-education: why it's a big deal for me

25 years ago was my Helen Keller moment. Yet, people don't realize how fundamental this change was for me (or how poorly I'm trying to communicate this change). It's not like I started a new hobby. I wasn't doing extra studies to impress others. I wasn't going for extra credits.

Instead, I got hooked on learning for the sake of learning. (I picked my college majors after I had learned and mastered the subjects, not the other way around.) Note that I learned many things in spite of my course load (I was learning things on my own, while I took courses mainly to get credits, not to be educated). In highschool, college and grad school, I was able to pick and choose many electives but in very few classes did I learn things because I was in the class (the only educational classes were the ones where the teacher gave examples or case studies from their past).

I could have taken tests for credits but I don't think they allowed all courses to be skipped (otherwise, why pay so much money for the tuition?).

And when I read about homeschooling, it was so liberating: I finally got a name for my condition: a homeschooled student! (I just happened to be sitting in classroom lectures -- most of my learning was done outside of the classes.)