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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

About Learning!

Professors are sometimes frustrated with the amount of effort demonstrated in assignments.  I hear about the lousy test scores, students not reading directions carefully, students not proofreading papers, and the list goes on.  I think students underestimate the amount of time required to learn new ideas. 

I want you to think about a time that you were learning something to play a musical instrument, how to play a video game, how to dance or sing, how to play football and the players and positions for the NFL....  If you think about your favorite past-times, I am certain it took you longer than a few minutes to understand and become proficient in the past-time.  How much time and effort is required for you to enjoy these past-times?  Even moving into a new work environment requires time for you to learn new information about the work you are expected to do.

A colleague once told me a story about her son.  She was watching him do his math homework and he was getting angry because it was taking so long.  When she looked at the clock, she realized he had the expectation that the answer should not take more than one minute to calculate!  If this is your thinking, it might be time to become more realistic in how long it takes to learn new things.  Yes, learning is hard.  Sometimes you will have to reread material, recalculate math problems, proofread, go to a study lab or group, or talk to your professor to be successful.  All of this takes time.

Learning and thinking is hard-work!  When I am doing intense thinking/learning, I am physically a good way.  I have a sense of accomplishment when I conquer a tough assignment.  When my students finish their degrees, I want them to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners..a true sign of an educated person.  Unfortunately, it take time and work to achieve!  I hope you approach your studies with the intensity and commitment you devote to your past-times!

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