About the Privilege of constant Learning

Life is and should be a constant learning endeavour and we should never give up on learning new things. This is what we are here for, face it. That is the task we as mankind have undertaken and we are good at it - in fact we are that good at it so that over tens of thousands of years we rose to the top of the game. This is how we work as a species and as individuals.

On the other hand in todays society we can regard ourselves lucky when we are in a position where we are allowed to learn constantly. Of course we are learning all the time, but what I mean specifically is explicit constant learning. Our society is not really structured to allow for that kind of learning appart from academia, and even there the possibilities are pretty limited, once you are hooked up with your position. Gone are the happy days of your Ph.D. where you could wander off into vast lands of new knowledge, never wanting to come back, finding ever new diamonds of truth.

Still, when working in academia - especially in teaching - you can (and have to) put considerable time into your constant learning endeavours, without them always having to be super focused on being directly applicable or useful or having real-world impact. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to go for the position at the FHV which I am holding now. However, nothing comes for free: I accepted a lower salary compared to a CS Ph.D. position in the industry in exchange for the freedom of constant learning.

Basically, the FHV let me do what I want as long as I deliver the lectures I am required to and as long as the students provide (mostly) positive feedback at the end of each semester. This is an amazing degree of freedom and I am grateful for the FHV to let me work in such a frictionless way.

However, academia is paid by the public (that is by the taxpayer), and my institution is no different. Therefore, the public expects me to give something back in return. Fundamentally, what is expected of me is to understand certain concepts theoretically and in an applied way so I can digest them into something teachable.

Concluding, as a teacher I am constantly learning by exploring the depths of knowledge, to find fresh and new inspiration for my courses, where I follow the motto: Be brave and don’t be boring!