Learning is Change

Having been a teacher my entire life, learning has always captivated my study and attention. My experience has always been that a student who is frustrated in the learning process is equal to being faced with learning something he doesn't understand. I know a lot about that because I flunked the apples and oranges math class at NC State 3 times and dropped it the 4th time. I had never understood math. I naturally assumed that I would never graduate.

I received a form letter with a real signature from a math professor who requested a meeting with me. I knew what it was about: they have contacted all of the dumb kids. I showed up at his office at the appointed time and following a 15 minutes discussion, he said and I will never forget it, "Your days of problems with math are over." He was right.

Having access to a series of videos he had made, I made a 100 on 16/20 exams I had to take to get credit for the class. Fast-forward, rewind, rewind, fast-forward. Suddenly, I was a genius. I was so motivated I took physics the next semester. I made a D. But it was a high D and I had made it all on my own and I was proud of myself.

Learning is change. If you are not changing, you are not learning. When learning is hampered for whatever reason, your sense of adequacy suffers, you fell trapped and it's so depressing to be stuck in a class you don't understand much less know how to get the right answers. And obviously you know what I am going to say next because it's the same thing...life.

The content of an individual's issues, just like the classes, differs greatly from other individuals. But the major similarity for everyone who shows up on the Maury show or the Jerry Springer show is that they are all crazy. The content is different for each individual but they are all crazy. Put another way, the class is different for anyone but the curriculum is the same for everyone. I mastered the math class but I didn't master the math curriculum.

And learning is like that. In the academic world, the classes are different for everyone but the goal is the same: graduate. What classes you take doesn't really matter but graduating does. What the professor taught me was not how to get the right answers but how to see math in a different way.

When I was rewinding and fast-forwarding his videos, I thought he was teaching me math. As time went by, it became clear to me that the fundamental purpose of his teaching was to help me see through my self-doubt.

True learning is change.

 

 

Self-AwarenessAshleigh Stoia