Thursday, April 30, 2009

higher learning

Reading is like eating. Usually you eat (or read) things because you like them. But sometimes you eat things because they are good for you. Like cod liver oil or turnip greens. There is a minority that likes them, but definitely a minority. There was an instructor manual I had to study a few years ago for an important course I was taking. It was so full of Bloom's Taxonomies, Herzburg's Theories and Maslow's Hierarchies that I was cognitively psychomotored right out of the affective learning domain. Or whatever. I learned about the psychology of learning, but the book was definitely turnip greens.

Blogs should be like ice cream. Not that ice cream isn't good for you - it has calcium and . . . well, and . . . blast the nutrients, it tastes good! I don't ever remember my mother saying "Now Timmy, eat your ice cream and then you can have some cod liver oil . . ." There is no moral obligation to eat ice cream or read blogs. You don't have to worry about me ever saying, "Read my blog or I'll hate you forever." If you come back, it should be because you like eating ice cream.

Now that that's settled I can tell you about an "aha moment" I had in learning. I was going to test our old Wajax forestry pump the other day, and figured the best way was to pump some water. True psychomotor learning. I unloaded the pump, the fuel tank (which is separate like some outboard motors), the suction and the tools. If you've ever run an old Wajax, you know they're close relatives to the Georgia mule. When they work, they work like mad. When they don't work, they're as temperamental as, well a Georgia mule. I set everything up and pulled the cord. The pump roared to life. Bonus. It ran for about thirty seconds, then died. Bummer. I pulled the cord again. And again. And again. After 10 minutes I was exhausted. The recoil on a Wajax kicks like a Georgia mule too. I finally gave up. Stupid mule-ish pump, or Georgia Wajax, or whatever. That's when the "aha moment" came. It was magical. I saw the gas tank sitting next to the truck. Some bonehead forgot to connect it to the pump. The carburetor holds about 30 seconds worth of gas. Herzburg would probably call it "fuel depletion." Aha. If I had just eaten my turnip greens, maybe this wouldn't have happened.

I forgot to tell you to thicken the stew in my last recipe. Sorry. Another case of jumping the gun and writing something without sufficient preparation. The recipe is fixed now if you want to have another look. For a clip on a guy that had fancy moves but not enough preparation, click

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