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So, got a bit of a parable to tell here:

When I was younger, I tried to learn how to shuffle. My mom tried to teach me, my dad tried to teach me, my sister tried to teach me. It didn't catch on. I even went to a professional, who was helping me learn to strengthen my left hand, and she suggested shuffling. But that didn't do anything.
But, recently (a bit after the doc. tried to teach me) I started taking medicine to control my ADD, and I've been noticeably better. I started paying attention to things people told me. So when I asked my mom again, I actually learned how to do it. With a little bit of practice, I've even helped teach my friend.

On a grander scale, (as in, more important than a card trick) the same thing happened when I had a sort of social awakening last year. I realized I actually did like people. I couldn't do anything about that until one of my acquaintances became a good friend. He's what we call "a social butterfly" so he's helped me out a lot.

So, the point of this is sorta to say that we can do anything, but not just by wanting it hard enough. We need a clear head, a desire to learn, and someone to teach us.

I'm sure some of y'all knew this, but I still feel like expressing this. It's a strong sentiment that I feel. And it's something I only found out a few months ago, though it dawned on me but two minutes ago. So I just wanted to shout from my roof-top, y'know?

Anyways, do y'all have stories of when you learned something from a teacher, or maybe taught someone an important lesson?
Or maybe some of you taught yourself something. I sorta did that, but it was more discovering something I like than actually teaching myself, so I'd love to hear any story like that too!


I don't like to be taught, or to teach anyone anything. At the same time, I don't have a problem with any of that. I just like to do things the hard way. Since I had problems, I had to learn in my own ways, and it took me a while to find those ways. In most schools, teachers are too busy to focus on any one student's own needs, and they make you feel selfish or stupid if you can't learn like the others.

The fact is that most of the straight A students in school are fucking morons when it comes to grasping anything that they can't immediately look up in a book or online. And some teachers teach you stupid things, like that you can't write past the line on the right side of notebook paper. I said: "Look! That's only the line from the other side of the paper showing through. Why do I have to stop there?" And one time I got an F for refusing to change the spelling of "Jif" peanut butter to "Jiffy" peanut butter, in a report I had to write. I told my mom about it, and she told me it was "Jiffy". So I took the damned peanut butter jar to school: and I got sent to the office for having food in class, because we were supposed to keep our lunches at a special area, and I kept the peanut butter at my desk to show the teacher. And since the teacher was so angry that I brought food in class, she refused to look at what the jar said. So I still got an F.

I'm glad I didn't have the Internet when I was younger. If I needed a book or an album, or anything, and I couldn't get it in town; I'd have to go to another town, or another state. And all the adventures I had, searching for things. And all the experiences I had, and all the things I learned, travelling around on quests for things....And all the great adventures I had as a child, playing in the woods and fields, and old dirt roads. Now kids are so busy with their machines, if someone cuts down all the wooded areas and pave over all the fields in their neighborhoods, they simply go on as usual. I remember when I was younger there's no way we would have let them tear down our woods without causing trouble. Someone cut down the tree where we'd been building a treehouse all summer, and we threw a fit that got on people's nerves so much it caused them physical pain.

I have my own ways of learning. I call them my Warm Paths. I learn things the hard way, so I get more out of things, and so I get to actually go out and do things. People are good at making society more efficient. At least some levels of society. But a lot of it gets in my way. In the sense that a highway gets in my way when I'm trying to walk somewhere. Or a schedule gets in my way, when I'm trying to live my life, and not make a cog of myself by repressing things that later explode to the surface in devastating ways.

There are plenty of gifted, talented people that do great jobs in this society. But I know my limitations. I can't do what they do, and I don't expect them to stop doing their great jobs, as long as it isn't doing more harm than good. But I have to do what I need to do in my life. And just because I'm one person doesn't mean people can push me aside every single time they come roaring down the road, on their way to Chick fe la to protest gay marriage, or to celebrate the grand opening of a new Super WalMart that's going to put the small downtown businesses under....If I want to go walking in the city, and they're too busy building a third Lowes building---leaving those other two large lots vacant for decades---to put in sidewalks, then they're just going to have to swerve their four-wheeled machines out of my way, because if I get hit and end up dead in the ditch of somebody's property, they'll be pissed, I know they will! Because people love to be angry; it gets their heart's racing, and it's exciting.

I like to do things the hard way.
Hard way isn't always the wrong way, that's true. I can't do problems on a calculator, it just drives me up the wall for some reason. I can't focus, and the numbers I get don't seem to do anything for me.

On paper though, I can actually get equations done pretty quickly. It's gotten me some odd looks from other people, and my brain isn't perfect like a computer, but I'll take sense over efficiency.
(Heh. As if to prove my point, I had forgotten the "n't" part there until the last check I did on my post.)

I am one of those kids who doesn't write past the lines though. Even if I'm just doing poetry or notes, it looks so weird to me. Guess I got used to writing after having to rewrite papers so much.
That's also why I never automatically like authority figures just because they're in that position. I won't be upset with them by default, but I won't blindly obey anyone just because I'm supposed to. I'll do it because I can respect them (though I won't always agree with them).

I am pretty rubbish with actually knowing stuff. I can look things up, but only grammar and arithmetic stick in my head. And some element symbols and their masses, but that's mostly irrelevant.

And that "Warm Path" way of doing things is pretty interesting. Seems more like "Worn Path" to me, but I'm not the one learning through it. To me, it seems like one reason it's hard for people to learn that way is that it requires patience, and for the person to accept they'll make mistakes sometimes. I admit not wanting to do that sometimes. But it is true that we make mistakes, and we really shouldn't try as hard as we do to avoid them. Experience only comes after a trial, and regardless of what you did you'll be better next time (unless you're dead. In that case, you're just shit outta luck).


Well, I didn't go into detail about my Warm Paths. They're part of my philosophy. They lead me indirectly to things for the sake of other things.
Well, I'd be interested in hearing more of your philosophy. When you say they "lead [you] indirectly to things for the sake of other things" are you talking about things happening for a reason? That's kinda what I think, coincidences happen way to often to just be... coincidences.
I agree with Rowen in that doing things the hard way, or at least learning how they're done the hard way, teaches you not only about the task itself but about how much you can achieve if you set your mind to it. And I always got in trouble in kindergarten for deliberately colouring outside the lines Smile

Instant gratification is not helping anyone. If you can get whatever you want at the touch of a button, without having to save or work for it, you're learning nothing about patience and priority. It's a very great shame that parents seem to think that giving their kids whatever they want is protecting them from hardship, when in reality it's denying them the opportunity to develop coping skills so that when they are faced with even the smallest difficulty it can seem insurmountable. It's no wonder so many young people are plagued with "first world problems".
i think there's no easy way, and no hard way, you learn or you don't learn,
while one way may help what you've learnt, stick, that's helping the memory and not the learning.
we all learn at different rates. we all have differing capacities in holding on to what we learn.
i taught my self to read and write and it was extremely hard but i enjoyed it. i would have preferred to learn both the easy way. mainly because that would have meant learning it sooner. same with math. i only use reasonable grammar when it's important so anyone who wishes to comment about the grammar in this post, don't waste your breath, i don't give a fuck Wink for example, it would be very hard though possibly not impossible to teach someone with an average IQ applied physics. if you have an higher IQ, then you'll learn easier
I think that a lot of why we learn or not, comes down to attitude and that a good attitude is born out of desire to learn or to achieve a (desired) goal.
In the UK I think many kids are sick to death of education by the time they reach 7 or 8 yrs old because we push them too early - before they are ready to start, so they are effectively being force fed something they don't want and get into a habit of shutting their minds. This then is a (negative) habit they take into higher education.
The other aspect is what Billy is talking about above. Everyone being different and having different levels of different types of intellect. This should be what makes for an interesting society, but again in the UK education system, being different is squeezed out of the kids (not by the teachers but the system) so that they all fit into some sort of homogenous blur. The results are either brain dead robots or labelled "trouble". We need to allow more kids to colour outside of the lines...or encourage the attitude of cussed, stubborn grit that can stand up to the pressure to conform. A high IQ is vastly overrated, especially when it is formulaic and not given free rein to be quirky, give me individual and interesting any day.

To answer cards' original thread / thought I think, at the risk of a few rolling eyes, i would quote this forum as bing the most recent place where i have been taught or discovered / taught something to myself. It is in line with this current line of discussion, in that i came to the site with (and still have) a chip on my shoulder about not fitting in with society and not wanting to fit in but equally feeling rejected by and angry at said society.
I came onto the forum with these ideas, not appreciating that a vast % of poets are people who do not fit into the box. The thing i am finally grasping (at least about relating within this place) is that my knee jerk reaction is as based in my preconcieved ideas of what people are, based on how intelligent they appear to me from my own assesment of myself. so when I read a poem or crit that is above my level of understanding i'm threatened by it. The change that has come is to learn to sit back and breathe for a day and see how it plays out before i jump to my normal conclusions. I still get the knee jerk reactions. What i see playing out on this site is that from time to time there are other knee jerk reactions as well. This is very comforting. So if one person shoots from the hip or another uses his perception of the truth as a sledge hammer, these are just interesting and individual people rounding off a few rough edges and I know i'm in the right place to learn. I just need to go and drink another cup of tea or wine (time dependant) before I make a comment Big Grin
Wine... thank you for reminding me Smile

One of my greatest achievements was paying my own bills. As mundane as that sounds, I had married young (19) and despite being the main breadwinner, all financial decisions were out of my control. Once I escaped that situation, it was such a pleasure to do things on my own -- I had no idea how to manage and had been convinced for years that I couldn't manage. Mind you, the pleasure in paying bills did wear off rather quickly!


(01-24-2013, 01:59 PM)Card Wrote: [ -> ]That's kinda what I think, coincidences happen way to often to just be... coincidences.

One of my sayings goes: There are no true coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. Even true coincidences.

Another one of my sayings is:

Walking a paved road is like making love to a corpse.