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"Drowning in Information & Starving for Knowledge" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I remember sitting in the brightly lit room, taking yet another standardized test, and feeling my abilities and knowledge measured through a tricky puzzle of guessing games. Knowledge has little to do with the information we mindlessly memorize and forget after a difficult exam, but more with our experience and the way we process and reflect on it. Therefore, a quote by Rutherford Rogers is an ideal reflection of what has happened to my generation's education: "We're drowning in information and starving for knowledge."

Knowledge is best described as a set of facts that an individual is certain to be true not only because of a dogmatic

education, but because of one's own questioning, comparing and deducing. Without this process, information becomes useless. Furthermore, it is important to see that knowledge is always built on a previously established base. It is this base that schooling, or the force-fed basics of multiple subjects into a mind, is meant to provide.

It is when we apply the factual information from school to our lives that we broaden our knowledge, but when we memorize facts for tests, write essays that have little connection to us as people, and are burdened with hours of busywork, we never have the chance to apply what is learned to our real lives. This is the

dilemma Mark Twain addressed when he quipped, "I never let schooling interfere with my education."

School is a start in the search for knowledge, but if it is not taken to the next level - if we get caught up with being the best through testing memorized facts - the growth of our knowledge is impeded. It is then that we become mere puppets spitting out words that mean little. Education as a system gives students a basic start, but it sometimes fails to inspire students to take it to the next level, and build on each experience. Mark Twain is saying that it is up to each individual to take the education and turn it into true knowledge.

Knowledge is also something we have to understand is ever-changing. Like scientists, people must absorb new evidence and challenge our theories and facts, build on them, even modify them. If one gives up questioning, a brick of the pyramid will be missing, and it will be impossible to build on it, which is where many are faced with a challenge.

To conclude, consider two quotes of Socrates: "Wisdom begins in wonder."

It is only when we take facts and think

out of the box that we are able to explore the limits of our knowledge. Only when one begins to wonder will he or she realize that "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance."

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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