13
   

Not everyone can learn certain things (no matter how hard they try).

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 04:17 pm
I did fine in both geometry and algebra, are A's enough? though when I met college algebra I hit a wall. On the other hand, I was working and taking the bus long hours and had a pile of other courses, so I'll say the jury is out on that. But let's say I was in the realm of clueless.

I did freak with physics. Took it my last semester as a prerequisite, with no previous acquaintance with it.
Class of, say, 200. Only two of us raised our hands re never having taken physics before. Probably another parochial school kid back then. I was totally confused about vectors, from the back of the room, in the first lecture, and things only got worse. And then I met the ex boyfriend on the way to class one day and he told me about his new girlfriend. Talk about stomach plummet.

Oh, and my lab partner was Jan, of Jan and Dean. He only lasted one day, and then I was the only one in lab sans partner, with a lab teacher who spoke sort of russian english.

I was lucky to get a D out of that class.
I was generally quite swift in labs, comparative anatomy, bacteriology, biochemisty, but that was a baddy.
Among other things, we set up some kind of rack for balancing weights, and I moved wrong, my contact lens fell from my eye, and the weight broke it. I said I was lucky to get a D.

Fifteen years went by, me with my own lab under department aegis, more labs later, and then I switched to landscape architecture.

When in classes .... I needed to learn grading and drainage. This involved math and visualizing and I was ok with it, except for the time I cried in our backyard trying to figure out a homework problem. On that one, the teacher apologized in the next class, the question was a mess. But even without that horribiloma, I was slow, plodding.

Grading a site as a land arch involves both math and more, the nature of the site looked at as a whole. With luck we get to site the building but sometimes not. There is usually a program but sometimes that could make no sense (I don't like ponds set at the top, as a generalization)..

people of my cohort doing all this tried to avoid harm to the land, which is an abstraction above just considering the whole site.

Anyway, when I first studied up intensively on grading whole sites, I might spend six hours on a single site. I gradually went from fright to yeah, yeah.

Two or three years after that, I loved grading, even being ballsy enough to question a plan by a big firm. The engineer there at my level was enraged. I talked to my boss. He talked to the head of that company. They changed the plans, big change, to my take on the grading, which, aside from being sensible, saved a wad of money.

So, I went from crying in my back yard to enjoying grading. Years went by in all that. I wasn't swift in the first place, as if I was, I wouldn't have cried that I couldn't get that homework question. I was ordinary.

Later we worked with an engineering firm on a lot of large projects. I never objected with them, with the odd what about this? takes - visibility at a corner, or some such. No problemo.

0 Replies
 
chaelsonnenfan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 04:26 pm
@maxdancona,
Some people have certain aptitudes and can learn easier than others, but humans have an amazing ability to improve skills and specialize.

Most generally get better with practice and repitition. I m a rock head and I thought I couldn't learn higher math in college, but I went to the math lab and signed out a grad sudent tutor and we would work problems for 1-2 hours 3 times a week and I never got below a B.

Of course everyone has a ceiling, really no different than any other skill building. You could spend a few years playing basketball every day and get pretty good at basketball, but you won't turn into Michael Jordan.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 04:37 pm
@chaelsonnenfan,
The specific types of math problems I am talking about don't improve with repetition. That's the whole point. It is the ability to reach an understanding on something that you have never seen before.

I could give you a million problems dealing with recursion. Some people can get it the first time they run into it. Other people never get it. If you don't get it after the first 2 or 3 problems., you won't be able to get it after a thousand or even a million of them. That repetition is just a frustrating waste of time.

It is an ability either you have or you don't. It is not a technique that you can develop or improve.
chaelsonnenfan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 05:08 pm
@maxdancona,
Sorry then, I'm accustomed to logical math with a set process and using tables/ Texas Instruments for much of the hard stuff.

I'm surprised that someone doesn't offer a software that you could use to help you write with the code you are referring.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 05:58 pm
@chaelsonnenfan,
I think you missed the point.
chaelsonnenfan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 06:21 pm
@Mame,
Yeah, I did at first, thats why I wrote "sorry" in the second response.

It really goes without saying that there are plently of complex tasks/skills that the majority of the population cannot understand.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Dec, 2012 11:44 pm
@chaelsonnenfan,
Quote:
I'm surprised that someone doesn't offer a software that you could use to help you write with the code you are referring.


Sure, but someone has to be able to write this software, don't they. And that is the ablity that I am talking about.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2012 05:33 pm
@maxdancona,
I do believe that we have different abilities and different proclivities. I'm better at some things than others, but I'm hard-pressed to think of something I can't understand, especially if I apply myself. However, I am terrible with numbers. Truly terrible. I understood the concepts in algebra and statistics, but I couldn't get the numbers to come out right. On the other hand, I was so good in geometry that I proceeded through the text on my own and tried to go beyond. The teacher was stunned. I got the highest grade in the school and one of the highest on a statewise exam. Geometry is all about shapes and logic, IMO, not numbers.

BTW, I'm terrible with computers. Never tried programming. Just getting around is sometimes a problem. I like using a computer, but not operating a computer. Does that make sense?

Edit: I may have used a key word there: LIKE. I suspect that liking something contributes to understanding.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2012 06:17 pm
@Roberta,
Edit: I may have used a key word there: LIKE. I suspect that liking something contributes to understanding.

And vice versa - once you understand something, you can come to like it (better).
0 Replies
 
 

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