Friday, January 11, 2013

Show me how

I like to think of myself as a very smart person. I am no genius or anything but I know a lot of things about a lot of things. Typically I can carry on a conversation and sound articulate and educated. I freely admit there are some topics I know nothing about. It is always easy to tell when these subjects come up because I will smile a bit more than usual and get a glassy look in my eye as I try and develop a strategy to escape the conversation in a polite fashion.

I actually very much enjoy learning. I liked being in school for the most part. We will just gloss over the whole not finishing college thing. Honestly that had nothing to do with my like of learning. That had to do with, well with things that are not relevant to this post. Moving along...

I like to learn. When I come across something that interests me, I want to know more about. I want to know how things work and what they mean. I want to be informed. I like being in the know. Whether it is history, or the arts, or technology, or math, ok not math, but you get the point. I want to know things.

There is one small problem with this desire; I don't learn well from reading. I mean I can read things and retain information, but learning not so much. Especially if you are talking about learning a skill of some sort I just can't read it and figure it out. Handing me a manual is going to earn you nothing but me being frustrated.

Everyone  learns differently, and I just happen to learn by watching. If you show me something a couple of times, and then watch me as I do it once or twice, I am good to go. I actually learn incredibly quickly if you just show it to me. I have had trainers before that were incredibly impressed with the speed at which I learned things and also the proficiency I demonstrated. 

Of course had they handed me a book and expected me to learn the material I probably would have lost every job I have ever had. I would read it all until I was so frustrated I wanted to throw the book. I would show up and look like a complete idiot because I hadn't been able to figure things out.

This also is not limited to technical skills. If you tell me to read a history book to learn about a topic, I most likely won't retain the information. If it is fiction I have no trouble reciting back to you completely banal details. Educational and it just slips my mind.

In these cases I learn much better from a lecture. In school I always excelled at classes that were more lecture than anything else. I often searched out classes where the books were more of a supplement study guide and less of what the class was about. Any class where I was told "Oh you can just read the book and ignore the lectures" I was dubious of. I especially hated classes where they would lecture on a small portion of the subject and then test you over the things you read and were never discussed. 

I have been having some issues with my iPod which has brought me to the realization that I just need to figure out how to make my expensive phone work as an mp3 player instead of shelling out money for a new iPod. No sense in buying something new if I have something that, in theory, works already.

The issue is my phone is an Android and it isn't exactly simple to get my music onto it. I tried to figure it out when I first got the phone, but that failed miserably. Lots of well meaning friends sent me link after link of written instructions on how to do what I wanted. I thanked them and promptly went back to using my iPod deciding it was less frustrating that way.

What I want is someone to just come do it for me. I don't want to figure it out on my own, because that just isn't going to happen. Now if they want to sit down and show me how to do it and walk me through the steps I am all for that. If you can show me what to do, I can learn it no problem at all. That is just the way I learn.

So until I can convince the husbeast or some kind friend to just make the music be on my phone I will most likely just suffer through the iPod's crazy behavior. I would hope someone would eventually actually teach me how to use my phone, but I am not really holding my breath.

I could always go to YouTube and try and find a how to video since I am told there is a YouTube video for everything. Of course my inability to make YouTube work for me (along with my total lack of Google-foo) is a post for another time.

Maybe there are just some things that can not be taught.

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