Saturday, 25 March 2017

Playing To Strengths

Louis is happy and doing well at his new school.   He has settled in, made friends and developed a surprisingly keen interest in 3D design.  His headmaster suggested to me at parents evening last week that he might have been a square peg in a round hole at the grammar school.

The same metaphor might apply to my recent experience of formal education.  I was struggling along with a masters degree until a few months back.  It was such a relief when I stopped and decided to pursue learning under  my own steam in a much more informal and flexible way.

I have a friend who is still studying at that advanced level and loves what she is doing. She's considering going on to do a doctorate in her spare time.  She's found her niche, gets distinctions for her assignments and presents her ideas at conferences.  In contrast I hated my studies, couldn't fathom out what was expected of me and had writer's block every time it came to producing an essay. I'd sit for hours and only manage to commit a few words to print.  Additional support from the university, as a neurology assessment for dyspraxia indicated, might have helped the penny to drop.  Yet I didn't have the time or motivation to make this happen.

I'm a skilled clinician and am good at teaching and supporting others professionally.  Outside work I'm a reasonable cook and homemaker.   There's a half decent head for business that could be explored.  I'm comfortable with writing in a more relaxed style.  I make things that please myself and others.  But I'm NOT an natural academic.  I'll leave that to those who have a bent for organising data and critical analysis.  Why struggle?  It's dawned on me it would be much better embracing and develop the talents that come naturally to me.

9 comments:

  1. Too true. I tried to learn German, left it too late, should have done it with my mother when I was a child. Got books, tapes, in one ear and out the other. Best doing something you like doing and are reasonably good at it.

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    1. There comes a time in life when people can't manage to articulate the sounds in some languages. They've reached a developmental stage that makes it impossible. I heard that somewhere recently. xx

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  2. I never knew what I was good at. Still don't. I just knoe, if this is a natural skill or learned through on the job survival is I'm good at cutting through noise and complex parts to put order to systems. My house, on the other hand is a perpetual work of chaos.

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    1. Cutting through noise isn't one of my fortes. My brother says I can bring order to chaos though. That's a very good skill to have. xx

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  3. I fully appreciate what you say, I'm not stupid but find academia quite taxing, my boys blossomed when they changed schools and we had similar discussions with their new teachers. Go Louis!

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  4. Yes, a thousand times! My former in-laws value a degree from a prestigious university to a disgusting level, even though ADHD runs strongly in the family and some of the most creative, endearing members of said family do not have a college degree. My brilliant daughter has suffered greatly from their narrow-mindedness, and the fact is, although I have 2 masters degrees I live with my daughter in comparative poverty, and mostly, I count myself lucky that we both have a clearer view of reality than the saddos mentioned above. Thank you for your honest and reassuring posts--you're a brave woman!

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    1. Thanks Kate for sharing. What fascinates me is that some people really enjoy this type of analysis. I can't fathom it myself. I don't regard them as saddoes just having a completely different brain to my own. xx

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  5. I hated having to go to school and learn about things in which I had no interest.

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