On learning new stuff.

The words Twitter and Tweet are so silly to me I’ve had a hard time bringing myself to learn anything more about how the whole thing works. It has just not seemed important enough to figure out.  That all changed yesterday when I quickly realized how badly I wanted to follow the progress of what is happening in Boston.  I first went to the Huffington Post‘s live updates, but they didn’t seem fast enough, so I clicked on one of their links to Twitter, AND I FINALLY GOT IT. It took my need for instant, real-time knowledge of one event for Twitter to make sense to me.  Until yesterday, I had no interest.

We all learn better when it matters to us.  We all have the tools to teach ourselves, to “figure it out,” if the result is that we get what we came for.  We took our 7-year-old out of school last month for a number of reasons, and one of them was her increasing math and standardized testing anxiety.  The wall had gone up; even the most seemingly simple addition equations on a math worksheet stumped her.

She’s got a head for numbers, though.  She thinks it’s very important that her sister is 7 years older than she is, so she can almost instantly calculate that when she’s 11 Anna will be 18.  We’ve observed her figuring out basic fractions, calendar math and time – all because it matters to the little universe she’s created for herself.

Math and Twitter.  They didn’t matter until suddenly they did, and then we got it.

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One thought on “On learning new stuff.

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