Friday, February 6, 2015

fundamentals of learning

One thing I've been doing with my new smartphone has been learning Spanish.  Pretty far from my first choice of things I'd like to learn, not even my first choice of languages, but I found an app that's great at teaching it (and a few others, like French, German, Italian - but Spanish making the most sense, of those)

I literally cannot say that I'm teaching myself.  The app is very interactive, and that's critical.  I've heard of these mythological people who do teach themselves, but I've never had much luck with that.  I can't just pick up a textbook, and start reading.  Not only have I tried, to a woeful lack of success, but I've read, that's a very inefficient way of learning things.  I can't remember the details, though.  Or where I read it.

For most of us, being taught is important.  Interactivity is important.  This is usually a social process, but it turns out, a well made app can accomplish the same thing, just as a terrible teacher can fail at it.  The social component is usually part of it, but it doesn't have to be an integral part.  Unfortunately for me, it usually is.

I actually enjoy learning.  It's a little heartbreaking to think of all the things I've wanted to learn, but failed to do so, entirely due to my inability to navigate social protocols.  I can't deal with schools, and teachers and classmates.  Don't even try to tell me I need to "get over it," because it's not that simple.

Even if I get over the initial hurdle of entering such an environment, I'm just too overwhelmed by it all to function, or learn, or get past my desperate longing to get back to my room and hide.  I've never found anyone to teach me how to achieve this, in spite of being me.  Only people who can't even begin to understand the obstacles I'm forced to figure out on my own.

I just also suck at teaching myself, but in that, my consolation being that so do most people.  I'm just not sure what to do about this.  Learning Spanish is entertaining and all, but it's not really going to help me achieve anything.

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