Today I started working through some chemistry refresher lessons. I quickly realized two things. First, it’s been a frighteningly long time since I thought about this stuff. Second, how I approach things is much different as an adult than it was as a first-time student. I found myself fast forwarding the second I thought I knew something. I whipped out the calculator as soon as the instructor mentioned a formula. Worse of all, I kept checking mail and social media every five minutes. It wasn’t very long before I was a bit lost on a simple concept. I’m clearly not the sharpest crayon in the box, but I’m not the dullest either. How did this happen?
Our world has become one of instant access to everything at all times. Always connected. Real-time analysis of speeches, world events, sports. Accuracy can always be “tweaked” in a subsequent blog or story. I’ve clearly developed AADD (adult attention deficit disorder). Paying attention to something and ensuring you really understand it is hard. Making the commitment to study, learn, and not just do enough to pass a test will be challenging for me.
You hear a lot that the younger generation, having grown up with multi-tasking – information overload, simply manages all this intuitively. Part of me mostly agrees. Watching my young nieces and nephews playing video games or working on the computer can be exhausting. Thirty-plus years their elder, I cannot process the on-screen information fast enough to keep up. How are they absorbing information that quickly? Easy to be intimidated… and then I followed a popular (in the college-age/hipster world) blogger looking for a research assistant. He posted the application requirements to make it the next level of applicants. Five simple instructions. Of the four thousand who applied only 1500 were able to successfully follow the instructions. Perhaps taking your time to understand something before acting is becoming a lost art?
Since my new path is in the medical world, I think I’ll learn to take my time and ensure I’m really learning. The consequences of not understanding might be a bit higher than a poorly written blog post <grin>.