Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Inert - lacking the ability or strength to move; chemically inactive.

Last night as hubby and I were watching an old (but new for us) episode of The Wire (which we are totally addicted to, in the way that downloading entire seasons which you can watch at your own leisure after the Angel goes to sleep, can foster) when I had an epiphany.

Actually my epiphany came when I had to go nurse her back to sleep cus she woke up... again. She does that every hour or so until I come to bed. But at least I get a few precious hours of hubby-and-me or just-me time in between.

So we had just seen a scene where Prez got some advice from a co-teacher at the inner-city school he just started working at. ''Give them lots of activities to do. Keeping them busy keeps them off-guard!''

And as I was lying next to the angel my mind wandered on over back to that.

How do you learn to bake a cake? Make and fly a kite? Ride a bike? It sure isn't by reading and memorizing the instructions, right? It was by dropping a few eggs on your mothers just mopped kitchen floor, getting glue stuck in your hair and skinning a few knees.

Or is that just me?

I know people have different learning styles. Rote memorization (is that redundant?) never really worked for me. I still have a hard time remembering multiplication tables, despite repeating them day after day after day after day after day in morning school traffic with my Dad.

When you think about the VAST quantity of info that is handed out during the 20 or so odd years of school, how much of it is retained?

Like Chemistry. The most abstract thing I ever studied at school. I just couldn't see it in real life. My teacher asked me if I never thought about where soap came from. Not really, no. I sensed some disappointment there. Biology, some geography, art, some physics, sure! Chemistry... negative. There was just no reaction in me with that info. I was completely inert in that environment.

Although I did learn what 'inert' meant. And it only took me 15 years to use it :)

So what's my point? I'm not really sure actually. Just felt like rambling a bit.


Nan said...

It is fascinating how people's brains work differently. You would think that after a million or so years of evolution, there would be one learning method that "works" but alas for teachers everywhere, there isn't. Sam learns by rote: give him the formula, and he's good to go. He never questions the formula. Chas needs to do it the wrong way for a week, frustrating everyone around him but getting the correct answer, and then having to re-learn everything when he moves on to the next phase. From LCM to multiplying fractions, say. Eventually he comes to a place where he understands the concept, and can work the hard stuff out easily.

Tash said...

Even up to my masters there were some things I still had to just learn by rote!!!

Chemistry - hahahahahaha - what a joke! I was in the same boat as you - Form 3 couldn't finish fast enough for me. Never learned that table thingy!

Theresa said...

Nan, Sam is so lucky! Being able to remember everything like that makes life a lot easier.

And Tash, finally I have found someone who was worse than me! I still remember the first 10 or so. But even though i never passed it in form 3, you believe they made me do it for CXC????