How did it come to this? By this I am referring to this point in my life. It can best be characterized by the fact that I have listened to, followed, and watched the words and actions of people who have less education than I have. It is at this point that I have to come to terms with my life as it is today. It is a result of my decisions. Part of my decisions have been to listen to, follow, and watch the words and actions of people who have less education than I have. This ironic detail is worth pointing out because I have always been taught that education is important. Sure, it may well seem to me that through listening to, following, and watching the words and actions of other people, I may also learn and gain an education, however, doing so is not the method by which academia becomes educated. As I am writing this I have realized that that is exactly how academics and scholars become more educated. Since that is the way scholars learn, one might wonder what the issue is that I’m raising. For one, it is the fact that I spend too much time educating myself in this way and not through other means such as reading books. Simply put, I need to read more. I came to this realization after listening to an NPR interview with Jay-Z. About the time when the interview was concluding I began to realize that he hadn’t said anything that would lead me to any profound realizations. He was just explaining his life and journey. There is very little value in listening to his words. Perhaps the only redeeming aspect of the interview is Jay-Z’s explanation for how he became so good at rapping. This in particular piqued my interest. He said that since the age of nine, he wrote raps. He’d memorized his raps and later was able to create new raps by managing the bulk of material he’d memorized. This activity is less spectacular than what I thought he was doing — creating raps for the first time spontaneously after listening to an instrumental track. For him to do that would be miraculous. What he actually does is less miracle and more practical. It actually reflects his work ethic and exemplifies the need for one to practice one’s craft in order to eventually master it. That is the lesson I take away from that interview. Jay-Z’s ability to rap as well as he can today is the result of long hours dedicated to honing his craft. I admire him, but that is where it should stop. I do not need to give anymore of my time to a man who has less education than me. That is not an arrogant remark either. It is to say that what I must accomplish in my life requires that I dedicate my time to my craft. I find many similarities between Jay-Z’s life and my own now that he’s matured to a point where he is now rapping about slavery (Oceans) and fatherhood (Jay-Z Blue). These themes intrigue me because I’m curious about them both. In conclusion, my goal is to read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. That should move me away from entertainers like Jay-Z and help me learn something.

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