I both love and loathe learning.
I love it for the very simple reason that it gives me pleasure; no, don’t be weird. Learning to me is like sport is to everyone else; I learn a new skill or some new fact that I didn’t know before and it feels like I imagine it to feel if one was to score a goal-in-one at snooker.
The thrill of putting new skills to the test and finding out quite quickly that I enjoy this new task is where my ambivalence towards learning comes in. I imagine those of you that way inclined would call it a “meta-emotion” and then sit back, smoke your pipe, and feel happy with yourself. Either way, I hate loving to learn.
In way of explanation I’ve done a quick flow diagram for you. No, don’t thank me, it was my pleasure:
As you can see I hand wrote this just for that personal touch.
Anyway. As we can plainly see in this incredible diagram, I start out learning a new skill, learning more of it, before finally going bat shit crazy and substituting every activity for this new one (including but not limited to: Sleeping, Eating, Breathing, Farting, Cavorting, Standing, and Videogaming).
Then I get bored and go find something else to do, although the step between boredom and finding something else can take up to a few months.
“This is fine” I hear you yell, spraying toast crumbs and bits of half chewed Marmite all over you filthy monitors, “you get a new skill, and you enjoy doing it; you make me sick. Where are my hitting pants? This man needs a thrashing only I can deliver!”
Well, yes. I have fun. But, you judgemental pricks, if you look closer at the diagram I’ve included a red asterisk (or if you’re colour blind, a grey one). This asterisk allows me to refer to my skill level at that particular point in the cycle. Follow me to a superfluous bullet point list:
oh, you made it.
- Amazingly perfectly brilliant <———–This is where I think I am
- all-right <———–This is where I get to
- not that good
As you can see, the asterisk denotes a large deficit of perceived skill on my part. This being a mistake I make every damn time. I learn something new, for example, squirrel wrestling, I do nothing but wrestle squirrels for damn near a month. I live to wrestle those squeaky bastards. Then it gets boring and I stop, thinking “Well, if nothing else, at least I’m now a damned good squirrel wrestling sonofabitch”. Then to my dismay, when I check all the squirrel wrestling newspapers, it seems that I’m only just of amateur status; I probably wouldn’t even be able to wrestle squirrels at the local wrestle off! (we call it the nutcracker)
This makes me sad, and what’s more, I have no inclination to even attempt to get any better because the whole concept of squirrel wrestling now bores me.
The whole cycle ends with me feeling somehow like I’m worse than I was before I started. Before I could say: “No, I don’t squirrel wrestle”. Where as afterwards I have to say “I’m all right I guess”. Which isn’t an improvement.
This time though is going to be different; I’ve learnt how to make things in flash and I’m so good I can make buttons and everything. I’ve done nothing but practice for the last 3 weeks and I’m really enjoying it!
Oh… Wait…. bored. Damn.
Turns out, ladies and gentlemen, that I am incapable of spelling. I have rectified this by signing up to an 18 month long correspondence course. The first practical involved letters a through b!