University Theme: What does it mean to be educated?
"Will This Be On The Test?: An Anthology Exploring How We Learn From Formal And Informal Educational Experiences." by A.J. Jacobs
A.J. Jacobs relates his lecture to the 2009-10 University Theme, "What Does It Mean to be Educated?" "I am fascinated with learning other people's points of view. I think it's so crucial to walk in their shoes." Jacobs said that he treats life like an experiment. He conducts experiments for months or years at a time, in which he has rules that change his lifestyle. One of Jacobs's experiments was a month-long endeavor during which he said he made himself verbalize every thought that he had in his head. Another more famous experiment was his biblical experiment, in which Jacobs followed every rule in the Bible for a year. The year of living biblically was "one of the most fascinating and challenging years of my life," he said. Jacobs also spent a year reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. He confessed: "I thought that I would never want to read again, but the encyclopedia did the opposite. Reading it made me hunger for knowledge."
Overall, Jacobs said the various tasks he has taken on in his life have been worthwhile ventures. "These quests have changed my life in so many positive ways."
Jacobs offered his view of education toward the end of his presentation. "To me, that's the meaning of being educated: to see life from other people's points of view."