I can recall the first time I ever questioned the opinion of an author. It was an epiphany for me. I was about 13 when I found myself in disagreement with what the writer was arguing (can't even remember what it was).
I was awestruck that I could disagree; that I could challenge the authority of the printed word ("it's printed so it must be true.")
When I understood the power this gave me I got really heady. I was off.The feeling of audacity, of daring that came to me was unequaled in my experience. What else could I challenge? What else didn't I agree with?
But even before this, I was already on my path to self directed learning.
At age 12, having moved from Britain to Africa and determined to go to a French speaking school instead of the anglophone school, I spent all summer studying verbs in my Becherelle-although in the end I did not end up going.
Instead I was made to go to an awful school that I regularly avoided going to.
It was a sketchy affair. I attended infrequently and unwillingly-being traumatized at the conditions I found there. With well over 70 people per classroom and the classroom at that being nothing more than a mud hut with a corrugated roof and an enormous hole in the wall where the red dust of the dry season swept through. Let's just say that going to the toilet didn't happen too often either-horrifying as it was to my tender British sensibilities!
Instead, I spent a lot of time at home taking care of my baby sister while mother worked.
What about you? When did you become an autodidact?