Considering Learning

At times, when I play witness to something beautiful, I simply want to spend time knowing the individual components of it. The wicked truth of the matter is that this can not be done without divorcing the intimately entwined parts. Shortly after snapping this photo montage on the microscope I took a razor blade and sliced through the ovary, gaining new perspective on the prismatic fibers of  that which is unknown to me. I am not the first to come this way, nor will I be the last. Any one have any pointers on histology technique?

I’ve been thinking a little about this; the taking apart and how it might work in learning. In my intro to statistics class, the assignments take no more than an hour for me to complete.The professor is wary about discussing theory in class, but his mechanical introductions are (overly) patient and methodical. The value of the course is in gaining confidence and growing vocabulary for clearly reporting data.  The confidence from standing firm in an answer as you are quadruple challenged feels good, but shallow. The unfortunate side to this method is that there is no exploration into why we are doing what we do. It would be as if mathematics were truly discrete and all the rules already written. If we stopped to ask; if we were challenged to make our own formulas; we may be humbled in new ways.

On the opposite side, in Organic Chemistry and Biology, I skipped the expected prerequisites for the courses that I have been taking for the past year so that I could graduate with a study Depth that approximates “Biochemistry”…one gets easily side tracked at this school. Infiltrating the class as a writer has been challenging, but I’m a chameleon, so it’s worked out more or less to the extent I’ve expected. I don’t know a lot of things that other people do who have had let’s say 1-50 years of experience on me, but I’m mixing into the average. It takes me a long time to do my work, and often I have no driving force to really do it. This is because I need to make up for vast knowledge gaps which are not readily apparent. Here, when I am challenged, I am often quite happy to yield to opposing suggestions. I am still, after many months, afraid to speak up because I might reveal how unprepared I truly am. Here is an xkcd comic for the occasion.


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