Emerson has me thinking about these things these days.
How much of my intelligence is regurgitated? How much of it is structured by the institution?
I have learned how to play the game, meet a deadline, write a good paper, finish a project, so now I need to apply it, right? Emerson says that books are meant to inspire. He says that we as thoughtful people should use our intelligence for other means, we shouldn't just copy the great minds, we should light our own way.
I am great at analysis, but have I ever formed an original idea? How many of my work has been written simply to meet a professor's standards? Uh, 100%.
If I was left to self-educate would my scholarship be of higher, more original quality? Would rejoice in the freedom to elect my own curriculum? It would be a challenge I think.
I want to be a lifelong learner, but do I know how to apply my intelligence outside of the system?