I’ve been taking a Sociology course as part of a University transfer program in pursuits of a University degree in some sort of social science that I’m not even certain of yet. It’s only part-time (one night/week), as I can’t afford any more of a course load for the same reason I can’t afford a decrease in my salary by going part-time. Nevertheless, this course has kind of made my sleuthy, over-analytical, mistrusting, debunking, intensely curious brain quite satiated as of late! Now the world around me is accompanied by a bit more background and history. In other words, I’m starting to get a good sense of when society really went down the shitter.
Just kidding. I love you, Society!
It’s interesting in terms of my own self-understanding as well because this is really the first time I’ve been attending school classes since I finally cut myself off from all mis-directed post-secondary courses back in… what was it? 2004? Yes, I graduated high school in 1996 and was in post-secondary education for eight years. And no, I did not become a doctor. I left school educated and enlightened but still unlabeled when it came to taking courses with an end goal in mind.
For a while I wanted to be in Advertising, then it was Graphic Design, after this it was a bartender in an upscale restobar that I was going to establish, so six months of that led me into Small Business Management where lo and behold I finally obtained a 2-year diploma. However, that wasn’t enough for me because I no longer wanted to be a restobar owner and decided that computers were actually my calling so into Enterprise Networking I went. By the time I finished my post-secondary education I could create an entire advertising campaign from beginning to end, do all the graphic design work for it, while moonlighting as a bartender, and networking, configuring, and encrypting enterprise servers in my spare time.
My problem was that for my entire educational life I was so focus-and goalless that I just went through the motions of what was acceptable and expected while having very little interest in what was actually being taught to me. If I had it my way I would get through school successfully by drawing, writing stories, and reading novels of my choice. I was so indifferent toward the structure of school that I felt almost irritated by it for getting in the way of letting me learn what I really wanted to learn.
Can you imagine being my teacher? Funny though, some of them actually really liked me.
I once did a left-brain vs right-brain test… lemme see if I still have the results in an email.
Your Brain Usage Profile:
Auditory : 35%
Visual : 64%
Left : 63%
Right : 36%
Andrea, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.
Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to “catch up” with yourself.
Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can “size up” situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to “lose touch” with the immediacy of the problem.
Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you “learn from experience” and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.
You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the “larger whole.”
With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can “see where you want to go” and even be able to “tell yourself,” but find that you are “fighting yourself” at the darndest times.
I’m left-hemisphere dominant with a preference for visual learning. Yes, totally. I think up until this test I just convinced myself that all my troubles of mis-direction were explained simply because I was “right-brained.” The daydreaming, crayon loving, space-cadet that loves numbers, calculations, theories, and logic, as long as it’s all demonstrated to me in pretty little pictures and stories.
This little assessment is pretty bang-on for the most part; with the exception of the athlete as a career choice. Truth be known, my hamstrings would never allow it.
So, let’s just say this hemispherical breakdown has been a theme for most of my life, then, a sentence like this: “Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation,” explains so much.
Moving right along…
As with every single post I’ve written over the last two years, the first half is usually initiated at least 2-3 weeks before the second half, sometimes 2-3 months (see diagnosis above). Since my very first sentence up there, I’ve written my mid-term, and received the results. 68%! Now, some of you scholarly academic types will see that mark and throw up a little. For me, I’m just proud of myself for passing! Granted this was my very first University exam, ever (remember, I’ve been college educated), I have all great intentions of surpassing 70% next time (they’re called baby steps, okay?). I studied so gall darn hard for that mid-term. And, what was different this time around was the fact that I actually enjoyed learning. I wanted to learn. I couldn’t wait to learn. These intentions are great except for the idea, as I’ve recently learned, that University professors all have a specific, and individual, way of structuring their exams. I imagine the social science professors are probably the most unique in their exam structuring, too. I know from the first five minutes of my class I was already assessing her. Watching her body language, her use of the floor space at the front of the class, her animated face, the way her nostrils flare when she talks through her smile. The way she almost flips her head in a ditsy fashion which doesn’t match the PhD title she maintains in her email signatures. How she goes bug-eyed when she says something ”hip” to the fairly young class and blinks over her bug eyes while waiting for a reaction. The thing is, the class reaction comes in this kind of hesitant, I’m snickering because it looks like you want me to snicker, but I don’t exactly think what you said is funny, however, you’re standing there, staring out at us, waiting for a reaction so here it is, now please carry on with what you were saying.
You know the type?
Sometimes she signs her emails with just her first name, other times it’s Dr. Last Name.
At any rate, I felt as though there was definitely one answer (which I got wrong) that was so misleading I asked her about it after class. In my opinion, it should have been tossed entirely (which would have brought my mark up to 72% – there’s that 70% I wanted!) but she passed it off as semantics and thanked me for pointing it out. I’ll note that for the final. Semantics? Listen sister, I went into this mid-term with a University-level approach. I know those multiple choice questions are tricky on purpose and I already have a feeling you enjoy being tricky so, when I read the question and the subsequent a), b), c), d), and e) answers I thought right away: “Ah ha! This is one of those tricks!” and answered the question accordingly. Unfortunately, the answer was e) all of the above but I completely disagree and if I were in the court of law, I’d actually represent myself; I was that confident. However, I didn’t have the energy to discuss things further (class nights make for really long days) so I Meh’ed it off and drove home feeling 3% smarter, because I knew I was right.
I enjoy class, though, if not for the fact that I was so ready to learn something new. I swear, if I would have entered grade 9 at 34 years old I would probably get straight As. ha. I’ve had 34 years of discovering, experiencing, learning, and understanding how to look at the world, how to deduce things, how to break things down. My brain is much more equipped at being able to learn things based on this kind of mental experience, or exercising. I can’t just head straight to the race track and expect to win gold. I need to train for those things! That’s how I look at school.
Other than this, life is moving along swimmingly. I’m really enjoying playing house and like the idea of having another body to wake up with in the morning and falling asleep with at night. I like how Nick makes zero noise while in slumber so that sometimes I actually touch his back to make sure he’s breathing.
Okay this is good for now. Nicole, you will happy with the relatively short timeline between this, and my last, post. See? I’m learning.