Disclaimer: this blog is rated G.
That said, here’s my secret.
I’m a pretty slow learner. (Don’t tell my bosses!). S. L. O. W. I never understand anything the first time and this used to break my heart because, you know, I’m supposed to be smart. And you need to add, “I’m a fast learner” to your CV else no one will employ you. I’d go for career fairs and hear the company reps say things like, “You need to be able to think on your feet, adapt to changes, deal with uncertainty, learn fast…” And I’d think, I’m hopeless. I hate thinking on my feet, I’d rather sit and muse with a pen and paper. But this is the 21st century, with its obsession with speed, fast, now! No one has time for musing!
I tried to be a fast learner and thinker. I used MindMaps and all sorts of gimmicks. Nothing. I wished I could be like my quicker-minded friends. I wanted to be a genius, effortlessly brilliant. The fear of being stupid was so real, I began to have self esteem issues.
My moment of truth came when I sat down and admitted the facts. I was a slow learner. (If I was abroad, they would have a proper, exotic name for it. Something ending in -syndrome). I was so slow, I needed to study something 3-4 times before I got the hang of it. Yes, I said it. *sob*
It was a moment of deep anguish, by the way. (Yes, I’m vain like that).
But that awareness helped me pace myself. If I needed to read it 3-4 times, I needed to. There was no shortcut. I couldn’t “fire fight” a day to my exams; cramming a semester’s worth of notes in a couple of hours. I had to read it all painstakingly. Everyday of the semester. Over and over and over.
This self-knowledge still stands me in good stead now that I work. A lot of the information is new. Sometimes I worry that I’m not learning as fast as my peers, as fast as I should. But I remind myself that I’ll get it eventually. The faster I read it, the faster I can get to my 2nd and 3rd and 4th reading. I just need to discipline myself to read.
Just thought I’d share this today. Sometimes, you may look at someone and feel you’d never be as smart as them. But it’s okay. Maybe all you need is to rinse and repeat, right? Who knows, they just might be doing the same thing!