Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)
- TITLE: Memories - Good and Bad
By Larry Whittington
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My memories all center around one particular place and one particular activity. The activity is teaching and the place is a math classroom. During my time teaching, I taught several subjects including math. Many of the math classes were Algebra. I enjoyed teaching the math classes but especially enjoyed teaching Algebra.
The memories that come to mind include the different towns I taught in and even the different states I taught in. Each town has its own memories, both good and bad.
It is here that I want to insert a comment about my use of the word “bad” as it relates to the memories.
The incident surrounding what I might call a bad memory was probably a learning situation in disguise. It might have been a time that I could have and even should have learned a special lesson. Most learning comes from difficult and often unpleasant situations that we later think of as “bad” memories. When bad memories repeat themselves in various forms but around similar situations, what was necessary to have been learned the first time may not have been learned. This is why there can be repeats of similar “bad” memories.
Difficult and unpleasant situations, then, should be looked upon as hidden opportunities for learning. One should be thinking there is something I should be learning but I am not fully aware of it or am avoiding it.
In work situations a boss or fellow worker may give constructive ideas that when followed would prove to be the way to undo those awkward situations that could become “bad” memories. When we see that the constructive ideas or ways are what is needed to improve our performance and we make the changes, we are learning. When we learn what new ways should be done instead of our old ways, there will be fewer difficult or unpleasant situations that occur. Learning has taken place. We will have learned what it takes to prevent the difficult or unpleasant situation from occurring. This will produce more “good” memories.
Now I am through preaching and I want to share just something I always thought was a special “joke” in Algebra classes.
The word of the day is “expert”.
At times, to lighten the classroom, I would remind my students of the definition of an “expert”. Follow me and enjoy a little levity with me.
I would say to the class, “We know that an “x” is the unknown element in an Algebra problem. In Science you learned that a “spurt” was a drip of water under pressure.”
“ So what is an “expert”?
(A quiet pause for effect.)
An “expert”, then, is an unknown drip under pressure.
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