how people learn

i only have a few more days here with my folks, so i am trying to get as much time in with them, get to the to do list whittled down to "all done" and  make the house spring ready in a climate where summer arrives on july 4 and winter arrives again on july 21.

i take for granted that everyone likes to learn, change, find new things to work on and has a life of perpetual growth.   in fitness, you never do the same workout twice, why?  you keep the body off balance and not get too much muscle memory.   the same should be with our minds and hearts as well, but as we age, the struggle to survive and in america, "live to work" mentality has us scrambling around, not really doing much, but getting more stressed out - more tired.  brain plasticity is being solidified by too much noise and business that just doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of life.

why and how i created the open mind space for the lab, where i can spend 24 hours never getting bored -  only made sense to me on this trip to visit my parents.   open mind (also called open brain) thinking is more where you take space, time, and play to create.   there is not strict  time limits on thought - it is like flowing on a raft down a stream, that takes you to many forks in the river and you go down a myriad of different places, always seeing and exploring new things.  you know you will fall off the raft many times during a day, and that is ok.  instead of the fear of drowning, you embrace the change like a dip in a cool swimming pool on a hot day.   it isn't really called learning, but you can apply it to the education system of, "learn at your own pace."  some people excel at this.  i am not sure if it personality type or the dynamic of how the neurons are wired?

the closed mind thinking is a logical progression from point at to b.  most of our lives are actually closed mind thinking, "get it done, do more faster, do it for less!"   i joke that american education is rote learning.  you read something, memorize it and regurgitate it back.  if you puke enough of the right answers back, you get a grade that compares you, much like an IQ test as a quotient against ones peers.   even with this, grade skewing that has transpired in the past 40 years where almost an "everyone passes"  mindset has crept into society and it is not longer grading on a scale, but on popularity ratings of professors.  can i write that the inherent flaw with political correctness is that the only thing it does is create a bigger pile of manure with a new name attached to what it is?  it still smells the same.

what does this have to do with me?   in the past few days, i have watched two elderly folks learning, my mom and dad. the culprit is a new cell phone.

i have to interject, that when i want to learn something, i usually ask google a question and find about it.   the part i don't see being taught much in education today is the skill sets in how well can you do something.   it is easy to read about it and have a chat about a subject, but i think i am more of a booker t washing type where you use your mind and hands together to learn the theory and the application of it in reality.  at that point you are what i would call well educated.  all brain, or all hands is not really great for balance as a human.

watching my mom approach her phone from the eyes of a curious child has been priceless.   my father approaches it from the point that is simply normal as you age.  you are older and the idea of change is a pain, you worked your ass off to survive and make it this far,  it takes time, energy, and frustration to learn "new," and your mind likes to trick you to relax instead of the reality that to stay young, you always have to move.    mom is the free spirit, dad is dug into a trench with land anchors attached.

the cool part is watching both of them come around together to learn.   it is frustrating them, and i hear "you are going too fast"  alot.  why? because i have no patience and suck at teaching.  i figure everyone is good at figuring out stuff and if they don't know, they will simply go off and learn it.  

i always say being a great teacher is probably one of the highest compliments i can give someone.    the reality is man seems to have some image in their mind that once you get to a certain level, you can sit back, just put up the walls around you for "your life" and all will be good.   it is a nice idea, but the reality is that you have to work each day to make a better you.  it is something i don't see people striving for as much as i think would like.  

some people make fun of me for exercising.  i really don't like to excercise - slopping a huge cheeseburger, shake and fries into me would be more fun -but i do like how my body works and feels.   some people make fun of me for prayer and meditation.  i really don't enjoy the process of having to fight and struggling to still my heart and soul, fully aware that some days, i won't be able to drop into peace.  i also don't like having to go through life where people ask, "hey how do you do this" while my brain is focused on actually doing it, because it might have taken 30 years working each day to get good at something.   this part frustrates me as it is like you have to turn your mind off while it was just going 100mph to find a solution.

they say the key to wisdom is learning that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you don't know.    this is what i find amazing in our world.  just how much and many things man is working on.   with the computer age and the internet for connectivity, there should be a mass explosion soon of new ideas, rapid progression to markets with products to benefit mankind.  of course, greed and the desire to control will forever be inside the system to inhibit optimization, but it is a pretty cool path we can float down in the next 30 years.

as a human being, you have to keep moving each day to improve yourself.  yet, the world, people, obligations and priorities will do so much to keep you where you are -  in some cases, try to beat you down.  i am not sure if it is a gerbil wheel where we run fast and go nowhere, or is it a type of quicksand that just slowly sucks you into one spot and eventually traps and drowns you until one day you go "it's too late, i am trapped!"

i noticed this all yesterday, as i had to play a dueling game of teaching with mom and dad.   mom while excited, was in brain overload, so i am thankful when her battery runs out, or i know enough to stop and say "later mom, we have a few days, just a little each day!"   and then there is dad, who i know well.  he will resist change, until he takes one step to "new"  then he is like a sprinter running to learn as much as he can.   i know myself, i have to pray/meditate, brainstorm, and exercise each day - why?  i think that is who i am inside...yet, i dont' really fit into the "normal" version of the world.   it took 45 years to get comfortable with that idea.

what i am proud of is my folks, who in their late 70s.   i really get a giggle.  mom and dad are working out in a gym (that was a pretty cool phone call) and now mom and dad want to learn more about computers.   to mom it is basically new, to dad, who was working alongside bleeding edge simulation technology....times has changed and he has to re-learn where the techniques are today. 

i can leave knowing there is plenty to amuse them with learning what their smart phone can do.  i am also smart enough to program in everyone's data but my own for who can help them answer questions that seem to be common sense to me.   its a win-win!

not a clue what i rambled about...but there is some fodder for one to read, not read.   typos and bad grammar and lack of sentence structure free of charge.