Today I’m wearing my Grateful Dead yarmulke. That’s because this morning we had our annual Rock Shabbat at The Davis Academy.

So when the time came to pick a quote for #BlogAMonth I instantly knew that I could turn to my favorite band for inspiration. Hence, “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.”

“You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know” is a line from the beautiful song, “Black Throated Wind.” For those that care, it’s a Bob Weir tune. It’s part ballad part “long and winding road” tune. It’s a tune about learning what you can and cannot live without.

The educator in me loves this quote because it speaks to the conditions necessary for learning to occur. Learning can’t happen unless the learner wants learn. Whether it’s curiosity, hunger, drive, or love that motivates us at any given time, you ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know. It’s just that simple.

On a slightly deeper level, this quote speaks to the importance of self-knowledge as well as developmental readiness. In order to learn life’s most important lessons (whether in or outside of the classroom) we have to know somewhere inside of ourselves, that we need or are ready for the teaching. Sometimes it’s simply about being mature enough to receive the teaching. Other times it’s about being reflective enough to know that we need to learn and grow.

Here’s a great version of Black Throated Wind. An all too rare 90’s gem (again for those that care) Enjoy!


“You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.”