Sunday, 10 February 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Teachable Moment

You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else do it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself?


Which brings us back to the fact - you name it and I have probably done it. The photo stems from my days in the local first aid group belonging to the village. No worry, the injury is not real, all done with make up, but even that has to been learnt. I have had to learn many things in my life.

Speaking a foreign  language fluently to make yourself understood was one. No problem, you hear it all day and "when in Rome, do as the Romans do", so I did.

The things I have had to do were usually connected with my work, thus hanging together with a regular monthly wage, which one needs to live on. Computers arrived, so learn it. Not just computers, but every two years there was a new programme, so learn it. Then the company decides to introduce a different system, so learn it. Over the 30 years that I was a working woman I discovered that talking to me, explaining it all, depended on how you explain it and not everyone is a gifted teacher. Do it yourself and then I got it.

It was the same with the first aid thing. Of course we had demonstrations about how to tie this bandage and how to use the defillibrator properly, but trying it out and doing it yourself was the only way to let it sink in. I held the CPR pass for many years, but only through practice on some sort of dummy, doing it myself. No explanation can tell me how to rescue a life. Do it yourself, although I never had the opportunity to try it out on someone who was in need of it - thank goodness.

"Mrs. Human" my cats had arrived and decided to say a few words. This time Tabby took the thread up.

 "We learnt everything from our mum. She showed us how to have a correct lick for a wash, and scratch in the right place. We did not have to take a course, or have some stranger to teach us."

"And most of the stuff did not even have to be learnt" added Nera "you just knew how to do it. You humans are so complicated. If the world was run by felines, things would be so much easier."

"Yes Nera, but I am not so sure. That you knew how to do it, is called instinct. No Nera do not ask me what that means. A feline world could get a bit more complicated. Everyone would be fighting for their own territory.

"Mrs. Human, you do that in any case. We prefer to fight our battles personally and not with armies. And every feline knows what instinct is. That is when we do not have to ask anyone, human or feline, we just know all the answers."

"OK Nera, you win, but we have gone a bit off the track with this conversation. And the talk here is of a new skill. So how would you felines cope with that?"

"We wouldn't Mrs. Human. New skill does not exist in meow. We are quite satisifed to know what we need to get through life. We do not need computers and all that stuff. If we are hungry we have "cat kill" or as things have developed a tin operner and a can of meat will do. Most of the cat food comes in a plastic bag these days in any case. We can bite our way through that one."

So where was I before I was disturbed by cat logic. To sum my human way up - do it yourself with a little bit of showing how to do it and then I find the way.


  1. I agree with you on this one. Best method is tutor-led introduction, then 'hands-on' experience.

  2. The only way I can learn without flunking it, is to be shown. Usually just the once! I can also follow step by step instructions that are printed. I am dyslexic but then again I am very logical.

  3. I so love Nera and Tabby's feline logic *big smile*