Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Intellectual Challenge

I'm taking a night class in Japanese.
I wanted a challenge, and I've certainly found it.

Usually, learning new things comes very easily to me.
I have an extremely large and diverse knowledge base that provides me with a context for pretty much any new thing I want to learn.
Romance languages? No problem. A bit of Latin will get you a long way.
Computer languages? After the first dozen or so, they come pretty easily.
A new musical instrument? Show me the mechanics and I'm good to go.

I've rarely had to actually spend time studying for classes. Since new information has a context, it's easily retained.

But I find myself really working hard to keep up in this class.

A few Kanji characters, and some phrases from Sasuke is all I walked in with.
So it's back to kindergarten to learn my alphabet. (Or, in the case of Japanese, two alphabets and a logography.)

I now have a visceral experience of what it's like to struggle with a subject.
It's a novel an unpleasant experience.
Hopefully this will make me more understanding of people who have difficulty with subjects I find easy.



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