Ever felt that you did not have an inclination for some things, some subjects / topics, some concepts, some situations and therefore you simply gave up on those and folded like a book — closed?
I had the same outlook to a few topics in school (many years ago btw) and therefore was quite paranoid of a few terms. Every time i opened my book on those topics, i would only get jitters or tingling feet —
— How would i rush through so many concepts just in time to prepare for my exams?
— Is this subject “cool”? Why does that buck-toothed geek sitting ahead of me enjoy taking a shot at those problems everytime?
— Concepts are not the end. Would i really be able to solve those tricky word problems on those concepts?
(…probably there is still time, give it a try…)
— There is so much noise around, i can’t focus on the studies anyway. No effort is going to save me.
…so i give up and would rather rely on on-the-spot-intelligence aka commonsense in the exam…
Of course, exams were unsparing and the results would show how i scraped through just about enough for survival in those topics (and how i fared well in other topics which i really liked)
Getting deeper into this — why did i not like some topics in the first place? The answers appear quite ridiculous now, after so many years —
1. Weirdly composed text-books. The author was in some sort of a hurry and assumed a general interest from all readers.
2. The author assumed that all readers like and understand his/her style of explanation.
3. Competitive school-culture. Everyone studies only to score best marks in the exams (necessary for survival, even now, in competitive societies). Who cares about the real application of these concepts?
4. Average to below-par examples, diagrams and no hands-on-application using means other than the paper and pen — for instance, no real life activities. (It’s a common, unfortunate notion that “activities” are for pre-school and “growing up” means getting “serious” about concepts and remain confined to the paper and the pen.)
5. Lastly, some folks are slow learners and others are fast learners. Unfortunately, competitive societies reward fast learners and are harsh upon slower ones. However, slow learners do relish the topic and are sometimes most creatively apply that concept.
Now that i have no exams to survive currently, i am going to take a second, fresh, look at some of these topics that i could not do much justice to in the earlier days.
This week, i will take a fresh look at “Permutations and combinations”. I have nothing to prove, no exams, honestly, i don’t have to re-look at this anymore, but i think somewhere in life, it will be useful to me for applying this concept. Next week, i will choose another concept.
Just wanted to share this thought of taking a second, fresh look at some things. The brain does not not deteriorate, it gets wiser, there are fewer distractions and hence more focus.