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The Learning Curve: Part I

After years of schooling I am still surprised when I cannot pick something up and immediately run with it. I get frustrated when new things make me do the primate thing where I turn it over and over in my hands and grunt in confusion. As much as I might try to make this sound profound, the problem that inspired this little rant was a forgotten user-name. That’s right, a user-name.

In college I was what people referred to as a ‘conceptual learner’. In a less politically correct speech that could also be said ‘can’t memorize for shit’. There were a few tricks that worked, like extreme repetition¬† and association. The same things that works for training animals. Maybe I’m being a little bit harsh, I did like processes. Ask me how meiosis or mitosis happens and I can draw you an outline, ask me for the signalling proteins involved and all I can remember is alphabet soup.

There are crutches available for people like me now, but I’m not sure if they make it easier to walk or doom me to limp forever. All my phone numbers are saved on a phone that allows me to just select a person, so no more memorizing phone numbers. My computer offers to remember passwords. Well now all I have to remember is my damn user-name….. and now that is the barrier. Its starting to feel like a staged retreat from a battle. If I was older I could blame age, but the truth is its more like a wiring issue and every little crutch makes the wire a little shorter. Pretty soon I will have no slack left. Anyway, put yourself in the shoes of the programmer I’m trying to work with. Poor guy wants me to explore WordPress and try out themes and plug-ins. Instead he gets an email two days into his 5 day road trip, during which I’m supposed to figure this stuff out saying “what was my user-name again?”. I don’t think it means that I’m doomed and this whole thing isn’t going to work, but I must admit some trepidation when it comes to what my partner thinks.

I was able to log in to our actual blog, so maybe there is hope for me yet. Soon my computer will have me automatically logged in to all the necessary sites for work and all will be well….

My learning curve is definitely not like a bacterial growth curve. It seems to be starting out more like the tail of a bell curve. Hopefully the curve will get steeper before I drive my techie business partner mad or at least destroy his faith in the basic Internet user. Although I’m guessing most of you know all your user-names.

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