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Beauty is not just skin deep, neither should learning...

美容 Beauty is not just skin deep

I've always hated superficiality. Even as a child, I could never understand how people could dress up and act beautiful on the outside, yet as soon as they got home they would be screaming and tearing each other apart. And that with the people they were supposed to love the most! In my small mind it just didn't seem right and vowed I would never do the same.

And I didn't.

For years, as much as I loved the beauty and art of makeup, I never put a drop on my skin. I was afraid it would make me into a different person, a person that would disappoint people as soon as the veneer came off. It was like a deception I couldn't bare to put on people, like seeing a beautiful dress from afar yet when finally close and touching it discovering it is only made of the cheapest polyester.

I've always loved surprises and I love giving people surprises. The quietest of people becoming the most looked to person in class. A bite of the plainest looking cake only to discover the delight of intense flavour coursing through your body. The simplest of lessons turning out to be the most memorable and the ones you find yourself repeating and using day after day.

I feel that way about learning. A lot of it is superficial too.

You covered the material, so you have 'learned' it.

You passed an exam, so you have 'remembered' it.

You graduated, and so you 'know' it.

But have you?

Common thought and practice says you have to work according to a student's level. Take language learning. A beginner student will work the beginner levels. And they may master them, even the tone perfect audio cassettes where everybody talks like a robot. Of course they will feel proud of themselves, and deservedly so. But with this heightened sense of achievement, say they head off for a week in the country of the language they are learning. What happens as soon as someone opens their mouth? Exactly. They don't understand even half of what is being said and all the wind disappears from their sails.

Obviously, you may think I'm being overly dramatic or negative, learning has to come in stages.

Yes. But.

On a psychological level, it is a disaster. Almost like dropping from a cliff. You cannot build up your students, only to let them fall and hope to put them back together again. Don't even go there. I frequently ignore levels and get straight to the heart of learning. I don't hesitate to teach high levels even to beginners. Because you know what? When it's done right, people can learn anything. And the deep sense of discovery and surprise cannot be matched.

Call me crazy, but I'm just a wild child at heart who has only just discovered that the 'beautify' button on her phone camera was automatically switched on. She just couldn't figure out where her freckles had gone all this time. Apparently #Android #Google doesn't see them as beauty and automatically blends them out! Apparently beauty today doesn't even reach your skin!

Now they are back.

Sometimes we just need to switch off automatic and start being ourselves. Switch off the preset limit and just let ourselves learn things and discover we can achieve things we never thought possible.

What will be your next challenge?


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