Accidental Learning Thrills

Some of the most exciting and rewarding learning experiences in life have come about by accident, happening not through any deliberate action or even vague hope to come across what is ultimately learned, but totally out of the blue learning events which defy all possibility of prediction. Almost invariably, such surprising learning events trigger epiphany.


Immediately following epiphany are feelings of both thrilling euphoria and elation from having been lucky enough to experience such a rare learning event as well as chagrin at having not already learned the lesson it taught. Usually, the chagrin passes quickly as the lesson learned reveals new possibilities for application solving problems which had either never before come to mind or had just been too perplexing to solve. Sometimes vexation of having missed the point lingers as nagging reminder to pay more attention to details from now on.

Accidental learning exposes lack of full understanding of bewildering problems. This is where the chagrin originates—from missed insights. Insights accidental learning experiences reveal through some baffling convergence of current events, dwelling questions unanswered, and subconscious memories and scattered thoughts are an instantaneous mindtrek through a personal Land of Serendip. But unlike the three shrewd, discerning princes, sagacity seems to play no part in my own accidental learning experiences. In fact, they tend to reveal how just how unsagacious and dense I can be.


Trying to understand it all seems of little importance, though. Of greater importance is the thrill of accidental learning events and keeping my mind open to enjoy them when they do occur.