Learning with the Body

A discussion about "regression" led me to post the following thoughts on some learning difficulties of my own:

...I never thought of that as regression. Sometimes I think of it as having "stupid areas" (i.e., there are things I cannot learn unless I learn them again and again over the course of either years or decades, depending, and some things I have not yet lived long enough to be able to learn long enough to learn). And sometimes I think of it as just a difference in learning style. For example, there are some things I can't learn unless I am able to (do it often enough that I can) learn it "through my body." Even math. I have to be able to write things down in the learned way, no shortcuts. Even if I am using a calculator, I have to write the numbers down in the learned way before I will know what to punch into the calculator.

Learning to use a computer was another instance where I had to be taught again and again until my body learned how. I was lucky I had a very patient co-worker at that point. She had to show me again and again how to turn the damned thing on. And then she had to show me again and again (and again and again) how to get from "turned on computer" to "turned on computer that has something I recognize on the screen." (This was back in the days of DOS.) And then, again and again, how to get from something-I-recognize-on-the-screen to able-to-make-something-happen.

If I am interrupted in the process of "learning with the body," I have to start all over again. Thus, a break in my repetition (and in being shown/taught what I need to know in order to make the repetition possible) will return me to zero as far as learning that thing goes.

It can be an incredibly frustrating experience (for me, "from the inside"), and sometimes my ability to want to pick up the body-learning chore again disappears because it just seems like too much.