How Do I Learn?

I am a visual learner. You can talk until you’re blue in the face in trying to teach me something. It won’t work. Hearing instructions just doesn’t sink in for me. To my ears, it is nothing but jumbled, mixed up words.

Show me over and over. Sometimes I am a bit slow, I’ll have to admit.

When I was in the fourth grade, I had to go to the blackboard. Mrs. Landford had written a math problem on the board. She wanted someone to go in front of the class to figure it out. (I was already a shy person. Going in front of anyone always made me nervous. Still does to this day.)

I was the unlucky one she called upon. I stood in front of the blackboard, staring at those numbers. Time passed and passed some more. By this time, Mrs. Landford was angry, not upset but ANGRY at me. Finally, I wrote down what I thought to be the correct answer. It wasn’t. She smacked me on the upper part of my arm, called me stupid and told me to sit down. I was embarrassed and wanted to cry. That night, I told Dad that the teacher had hit me and called me stupid. He said I had probably deserved it. Those words were hurtful and has stayed with me all these years.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had general math. I wasn’t smart enough for any other class. The teacher I had was Ms. Steck. It wasn’t Mrs. or Miss it was MS. She made that perfectly clear everyday. One day, she tells the class she was going to make each one of us to go to the board and figure out the math problem. The nightmare I had with in fourth grade came rushing back to me. I wanted to sink down deep into my chair. Or better yet, a deep, dark hole swallow me up. No such luck.

When she called my name, I walked slowly to the board, staring at the problem trying with all my might to figure out the answer. Unfortunately, my brain had seem to run out the door. Again, time passed. Ms. Steck started laughing and drew the class in with her to laugh at me. She would say stuff like, “Look, class, Laurie can’t figure out such a simple little math problem.” Then, she would laugh.

Dad and even my uncle tried to explain math to me. I just could not get the hang of it. Dad always blew up at me. He called me names that were so hurtful and painful. To this day, I dislike math. No one had really taken the time with me to understand it. Math is a mystery to me.

So, when it’s time for me to learn something new, please take your time with me. Do not get aggravated in teaching me. If I ask you to show me over and over, promise me that you will stay calm. I am a slow learner. Once I have learned it and have caught on, I’ll know how to do it.

I hope your day is full of sunshine!

Laurie Jackson

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