Sep 13, 2008

if you take something apart, can you always put it back together?

This morning I was thinking about learning. It still amazes me to learn something, even though I may have no possible use for it in the remainder of my lifetime. But you never know. Since the day he learned he could use his opposable thumbs to disassemble something, my son has been doing so. Everything we have ever had in this house has been taken apart and put back together at least once. "I just wanted to see how it worked." He managed to reassemble most things back to the original factory intent, however there have been a few misplaced parts here and there. Although he is 21 now, Bee still takes everything apart, but has now learned that maybe I really don't want the new dishwasher taken apart, and prefer to remain oblivious to what goes on inside there as long as it does its job.

Discovery. That's how I like to learn things. I like to read and discover and apply a process. Sometimes I think of a woman I once knew who did not appreciate the process of searching for an answer and the resultant joy when you figured out not so much the particular answer, but what you have learned. The only way she wanted to learn something was to be told. "Just tell me the answer, just tell me what to do," she always said. She wanted someone to tell her that 2+2=4, but not how we know that or arrive at that conclusion; she just wanted the answer, didn't care why or how. By this method of learning, then she would have to be told that 3+3=6 because she didn't learn how to get the answer, just the answer itself.

I have always thought that when we learn the why's and how's instead of just an answer and a solution, then we can use that information to find out anything else. I am not a genius, nor do I remember every single thing that all my teachers taught me in school. I have long been a fan of the logic of Einstein. He chose not to store everything single piece of information he ever knew in his brain. Instead he used the logical process that once that information was stored somewhere (written down, I don't mean Google), he could always look it up when he needed to know it. Smart man, that one. Therefore, when the Cap'n says, "Princess, why don't you remember the number for the checking account we had 12 years ago," then I can say, "Because I can look it up."


Anonymous said...

We nurses say,
"you don't have to have all the answers, you just have to know who to ask!"

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add...don't EVER let me take anything will never work again!