It’s early Saturday morning. I think that these days leading into autumn are the best days of the summer. Things are starting to cool down, and the harvest is really beginning. For instance, the tomatoes in the garden can’t be beat. Those store-bought ones are just to add some color. They don’t have any flavor.

This past week at work was hectic. I work at an “institution of higher learning”. I’ve always wondered about that description. If you want to get into specifics, I work at a government-sponsored, state-governed, college. I think whether a place is an “institution of higher learning” is totally up to the people that work and attend there. And, it doesn’t have to be the entire institution. It might be only as small as a classroom, or a carrol in the library. It’s all dependent on your definition of “higher” really.

“More” is not necessarily “higher”. Just because you know “more” about something than you did before, doesn’t necessarily mean that knowledge is “higher”. For example, I know more about raising vegetables in a garden than I did a few years ago. I started out knowing that I have to plant the seeds or a plant to get fruit or vegetables. I now know that water and sunlight are required. And, I’ve learned that I have to pull a few weeds and fertilize the plants to get a good crop. These are all important aspects of gardening, but one concept is not necessarily higher than the other because of the order in which I learned them.

Perhaps “higher learning” happens when I come to understand a concept more fully? When I learn how to apply it in just the right circumstance to produce the best results in a given situation I not only know more, but the knowledge I have is more valuable to me and others. The challenge is to make the places where I am found to be institutions of higher learning. Whether I’m teaching or learning. I do think that’s largely up to me. And, I think that’s why I’ve always heard that you can tell the best students by the questions they ask. Hmmmm. It’s a wonder how tomatoes can make you think.

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