17 June 2010

Day 82: Girl in Translation

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok.  ISBN: 9781594487569 (advanced reader copy).

 Kim (the main character) is one of those kids who's just naturally good at school.  They have brains that are geared towards the learning/teaching style employed by most academic institutions.  My brain is also geared like this.

I never really had to study much during school.  The most I had to do before taking a test was to review my notes.  I did fairly well on fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice.  I was particularly good at natural sciences, English and literature, and history.  Pretty much any class where I could form an argument or use logic to remember a fact or solve a problem was a good class for me.  I was pretty good at math up until Algebra, and I think the reason I had so many problems there is because I hated the school I was at so I missed a lot of instruction.  This is also where I began to suspect I had some dyslexia, although I somehow doubt it's enough to qualify as a learning disability.

It was pretty startling for me to get to a point where things didn't come naturally for me.  It made me realize how difficult school is for people who don't or aren't able to learn the way I do.  I had to transition from just sitting in class and absorbing materials to getting tutoring and spending more time on my homework than I did reading.

The thing is, it doesn't feel like it was real learning now that I have something to compare it to.  Sure, my head was filled with facts and figures, some of which I can still remember, but for the most part it did not lead to anything deeper.  There was no desire to learn more or incorporate the knowledge into my daily life.  It's unfortunate that I had to wait until college to really get this kind of learning experience, but at least it taught me how to continue the learning process.

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