Consider yourself one of a few students arriving early for a first class, eager to learn. The teacher / facilitator asks, "where are the other students?" Trying to be helpful and having just entered you respond "most seem to be down the hall waiting for the bell."
The teacher looks at you and obviously annoyed asks "well why aren't you getting them like I asked?" Even as you head to the hall on her implication you think silently" I did not hear you ask for action, I just heard you ask for information."
You now have a huffy teacher and a class where an eager early arriver has learned not to volunteer a response. All of this occurs before the first class starts.
When the teacher later complains about how dull the class is, not responding instantly to her questions, you just listen. What will you do if she directs the question at you "Why are you not contributing to class?"
- Do you shrug your shoulders and remain mute
- Do you respond "Because you ask questions and expect us to guess correctly if it is a question or some unstated demand?
- Do you explain that communications requires two parties, sender and receiver, both of which are prone to error. This requires a non-defensive mental posture allowing verification and adjustment if communications are to remain effective.
Or are you more likely to wish it was break time, knowing there is no escape from answering the question in a way that will annoy an already aggressive defender of her personal authority. The teacher already "knows" the problem or she wouldn't ask.
She thinks everybody is too slow to follow her directions. She does not even consider that her directions might be vague and her short follow up responses condescending. The most outspoken, precise, and valuable student contributors are also those quickest to learn; you have learned that it is painful to contribute to this class.
Let's consider the alternative. You have just discovered hang gliding, and you love it. You read books and magazines, you bookmark good hang gliding blogs, and you hang out with experienced hang gliders; listening intently and asking questions. This is natural learning.
The types of books you read may quickly expand as your knowledge of the field expands. You study engineering, aeronautics, fabric types and dyes, geography, and emergency medical procedures. You are quickly becoming a renaissance person, your ever expanding knowledge keeps pulling you into new fields of endeavor and contemplation.
You specific passion guides you to explore diverse knowledge, and because learning is driven by your own desire, you retain this knowledge.
Of even greater significance is the probability your passion of the moment will lead you to your life's passion as you explore new areas of knowledge. In our example you might discover you love emergency medicine, particularly relating to sports.
You have discovered self-directed, interest-based learning; the most efficient learning is always student initiated.
From what you now understand of yourself you can consider becoming a sports trainer, an EMT, and perhaps an emergency room nurse or doctor. As you read and talk to those in the field you will find other options.
Options you would probably never find sitting in a class room. Now you can add specific classes if they will help define your new sports medicine goals or move you toward goal completion.
Find a passion and drill into it with reading and inter-personal research. You may just find your life's passion - the one that will provide meaning to your life. You can live your own life;
or you could just survive formal school and take the first reasonable job offered