The Hound of the Wolf

For the strength of Pack is in the Wolf, and the strength of Wolf is in the Pack -Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Learning the hard way

It has been a constant struggle to learn new things (at least on my part). While many say that learning can be fun, you can't blame those who complain that learning can sometimes be harsh and torturing. For someone who is in the field of information technology, constant learning on the newest trend should be a regular activity. What was "state of the art" 10 years ago, might already be considered a legacy system in 2005. Nevertheless, due to the constant changing nature in IT just like other fields, learning is definitely inevitable.

There are two types learners: the fast learners and slow learners. One's classification depends on how, 1).you yourself and 2).others, see you as a learner (speaking of The Johari Window). Since grade school, I consider myself a voracious reader of general information and history book. The nature of the subject molded my brain to think as if information is already recorded and needed only to be memorized. Upon entering college, a 360-degrees turnaround and disaster follows. Mathematics and computer science are dynamic and analytical areas. It is a complete opposite of the thinking paradigm I was trained and educated for. Ask me a history question and I will google it in few minutes but ask me to solve a math problem and in few minutes, I will argue that the problem is unsolvable.

Nevertheless, the human brain is trully an amazing creation. Its ability to adapt in any forms of situation and to rationalize is what separates man from other members of the animal kingdom. This can be attributed to the unfriendly, harsh, torturing and difficult means of learning things. Forgive me for using exagerrated adjectives but I can't settle for descriptions of having less effect. Learning the hard way may not be fun but it is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. As what I have read from a web site about guitar playing, to learn and master the art of playing, you must "Torture the flesh, free the spirit". And certainly, I experience this saying first hand.

Thought for the day: "You cannot appreaciate light if you have not been to darkness."