Yesterday I heard an interview with Flea on NPR's All Things Considered. Check it out. As a chemist, and occasional musician, I especially liked this quote:
"Music is made up out of these building blocks," he says. "Studying how these blocks go together and what they consist of and the math of how it works — it's all the same stuff; it's just different aesthetics that we're talking about."
That could apply to almost any field.
I have to say that I'm envious. As a teacher myself I do have a lot of freedom, as well as an obligation, to keep learning new stuff. But I don't have the time to really immerse myself in quite the same way. It would be fun to be a student again.