Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Start of Real Learning

Older Journal entry from 3/07
It is a long time since I have felt the freedom of being alone in my world. I was only eight years old when my world was cut off from me by the addition of a new medication, Zarontin. I’m not sure what the intended use was, but the effect robbed me of escape from the onslaught of my senses in the world. No longer could I turn things off at will. Sounds closed in all around me. It was a horror beyond belief, constant stimuli you could not avoid, unwelcome sounds of no meaning: fluorescent lights buzzing, heat rising in pipes, voices in other rooms, mechanical sounds. I lived in a horror house of noise.

Good was done by it though. Learning started. I didn’t get fuzzy in my head anymore. I began to understand what I was looking at sometimes. I could not focus my eyes when moving so I learned to look then move. Work I still hated, but learning on my own I liked. I made up games for myself, Every answer is a question – a bit like jeopardy. I could not register everything at once, but I could work it as a chain of connectedness.

Three. What is a number which comes after two? Which comes after one? The first number after nothing?It connected a series of otherwise un-relatable things for me.

I could not move from three to zero without my chain of connectedness. Sometimes I would make an erroneous connection and tie together things that did not relate in that category.

Going outside leads to a ride in car leads to a soda.

If I wanted a soda, I would ask to go outside. Some of my connections became seen as required routines. It was not the routine I required, but the end product.

I have often wondered if routine sometimes serves the same purpose for others. What if the erroneous connection is as to an emotion not thing for some? What confusion that could create.

I am still learning about many misconnections I have made, but I am also surprised at the number of connections which have proven correct, at least in my yet limited experience. My learning was so stilted then, but still it was a start. Single modal learning involves a lot of error. I am glad mom started teaching me how to learn, instead of just specific pieces of knowledge.

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