Always wanted to write
I was talking to a friend at lunch today. We were comparing experiences in school and how we both started high school as poor students. However, both having struggled the most with Advanced English in 9th grade we both write documentation, emails, memos, code for a living.
Arguably computer languages are not the writing we were training to do. However, I think the reason we both struggled has more to do with the phase of learning we were going through. We still didn’t understand how to learn. Learning to teach yourself concepts, and what mode of discovering concepts works with you, is the best thing I learned in my education.
I often get asked how I learn things, or how I retain information. I honestly don’t know why I remember insanely esoteric information, and don’t know what my wife said 2 minutes ago. Or for that matter where we keep items in our house that have never moved, yet I need a google maps interface to find the brownie pan. But I do know, that if I can manipulate the thing I’m learning, I can figure out how it’s composed pretty quickly. And once I figure out how it works, I remember it visually as if I was walking through it like they do in memorizing techniques.
So if there is a piece of advice I can give someone who is trying to get into a new thing. You need to know how you best learn things, and try learning it that way first. I really think this is what makes college graduates so much better than not in the work force, in the broad sense. Those people got to spend an extra 4 years, learning how to learn while losing money to learn their lessons with a little more skin in it than high school.
Counter to how it sounds I never graduated college. This is where my friend and I greatly differ as he graduated from a rather prestigious state college. We both seemed to learn how to learn in the middle of high school. I did get an associates degree and it took relearning how to be good at college but I knew my learning style by then. Getting concepts wasn’t the problem, it was how they formulate quiz/tests from the materials you study that was so different.
I think it’s time to write more. Even if I don’t publish it all.