Looking back on my schooling years is a combination of pride and regrets. I am proud to say that I became a good student during those years yet after having couple of realizations, I came to know that I could have done more. Much of these regrets can be attributed to my thinking “that I’m doing the right thing.” Just because I believe that my learning style is good enough, I wasn’t able to seek for a better one.
I’m just an average person like most of the people I know. Every achievement I had was purely a result of hard work and dedication. I won’t say that I can do things better just by relying on my “natural intelligence and abilities.” Yes I believe that we’re given gifts of talents and wisdom, but it is within us on how we are going to maximize them.
With my learning style, I used to study my lessons when the noise level is at its lowest- late night and early morning for me. I know I can function better when there’s no extraneous distraction at all. Likewise, I used to do it while listening to music- this for me is not a noise but rather a technique that will lead me to stay awake longer than I used to. It may be viewed as a multitasking activity that reduces effectiveness of learning, but I have to affirm that it helps me a lot.
I’m quite amazed to hear others saying, “Mabilis ako mag-memorya. Mga dalawang basahan lang kaya ko na.” Honestly, I’m not that good when it comes to memorizing things. In fact I hate it. But I know I have to at least be good at it to facilitate learning and understanding. Especially with the degree I finished, nursing, it really requires to memorize many things including drugs and disease pathology before being able to understand complex concepts. Well, I know that there are people who have awesome capacity to memorize things including the so-called “photographic memory.” I know I am not one of them, but I can be one through constant practice and effort. It only means to say that we can achieve whatever it is by exhibiting genuine passion and dedication.
As discussed previously, we can only say that a person has learned if there’s an effective change in behavior over a sustained period of time. It’s easy to say that you learn by many ways you know, but it’s only others who can tell if you really do so, as you interact with one another. Also for me, learning is successful if it allows to make use of oneself for the improvement of the community in general.
It’s always a firm belief on my part that learning can be achieved regardless of the setting that comes with it. It is not limited to the four corners of the classroom. As long as we have the desire to learn, then we can by any means available. I also view the success of learning as being not parallel to the “grades and distinctions” you can receive. As a review lecturer for local nursing board exam, I used to say to my students that board rating wouldn’t define how good they are as a newly registered professional. It’s just a matter of numerical expression. True learning will immerse during the course of interacting with other people. With this in my mind, I never grew up grade-conscious. I know myself better than what these grades are trying to say. I know when and where to pay more time and attention, in as much as I know where I excel. For me, learning is an opportunity available to everyone that involves maximizing abilities and potentials, in the pursuit of improving one’s functioning in the society. Academic achievement, on the other hand may be defined as a reflection of a student’s level of performance in school as measured by grades and remarks properly determined from a set of standards.
Lastly, I have to say that learning is something open and free to everyone. It is not bounded by one’s capacity to pay for formal educational classes. All it takes is dedication to acquire deeper aspects of knowing. For in the end, God created us with a gift of understanding. 😀