The Self-Made Learner

Frederick Douglass is the epitome of the self-made man. Born into slavery, he never received a formal education - only with some brief instruction from his master's wife and from the white children he would interact would Douglass build the foundation for his lifelong education. He would eventually escape from his master and move to the North and establish himself as a writer, orator, publisher and abolitionist.  When he wrote about being a self-man man, he said, "We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is Work! Work! Work! Work!"

Reading about Douglass helps me put things in perspective and realize how fortunate my life has been, receiving over 16 years of formal education relative to Douglass never having formal education and having the wit to trick others into teaching him. Most of us can't relate to Douglass on that level, but his story is inspirational - how much a man is capable of when he has the will, determination, and work ethic to acheive what he desires.

So if you're learning on your own, it's good to know that someone else has done it, and done it under the worst possible conditions, and not only succeeded, but excelled. Use Douglass as a model for how to shape your approach to learning with your Comprehensive Learning Modules provided by The College Network, and know that your success will be defined, as Douglass put it, by your work.


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