When You Just Don’t Get It

You know how when you can do something, you just don’t understand why someone else can’t?

I once worked with a woman who failed her driving test no less than eight times. She had paid for over one hundred lessons, and finally gave up trying after her eighth fail. The rest of us could all drive, and were amazed at her inability to be able to do something that was second nature to us. I asked her why, and she said “I just don’t get it. It doesn’t sink in. They show me one week and I do it, but the next time I have forgotten what I have to do, or it feels different”.

I don’t know how to swim. People find that amazing. All my life, people have told me, “It’s so easy to swim. I could teach you in minutes”. My first wife was a champion swimmer, and she tried to teach me to swim on numerous occasions. But whether it was being uncomfortable in the water, or lack of coordination, I just didn’t get it. It never felt right, and I didn’t seem to move the same way in water as everyone else.

During my working life, I frequently met adults who could not read and write. I was surprised, to say the least. Did they not go to school? How were they allowed to progress into adulthood without some extra tuition? One evening, I asked an illiterate man in the back of my ambulance how that could happen. He shrugged. “The taught me, they showed me, but I just didn’t get it. It didn’t sink in”.

So I have learned a fact of life, over the past fifty-odd years. Just because someone thinks something is easy to learn, that doesn’t mean it is.

You all know what I am talking about, I’m sure.

84 thoughts on “When You Just Don’t Get It

  1. If it wasn’t for Jeopardy, there’s lots I would not know. 🙂

    My theory; all of mankind is one body. We each have a different part and each part works together. Even butt holes have a purpose. I just wish some butt hole folks would stay unseen and unheard.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I get frustrated easily with technology things. I am willing to quit before I find a solution. Having people help me is something I am used to needing. There are many things I cannot do. I was once asked to please stop coming to a dance class because no matter what, I could not get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We all have things we excel at or are challenging for us. When it comes to technology, most people have a much better intuitive sense than I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had so many hours of frustration with tech. If it hadn’t been for friends and fellow bloggers, I woul cetainly never have carried on blogging after my first few attempts.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. There are lots of things I don’t get. I can drive, I can swim, I can lie (tell stories). I can’t cook, clean, or worry about other people’s opinions. I don’t see the colours other people see, I don’t hear music the way they do. I can’t get the rhythm to dance or prance, but those things don’t stop me enjoying the way I see my world, and that’s what counts.
    I’ve taught hundreds of people to drive, showed them how to read and write (yes, even those who thought they didn’t get it — everyone has a view and once you find the way they view, they get it).

    I get it. I really do. Except for the things I don’t. But life is short, and I’m not going to worry it to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. there are so many things i cannot do. things that i tried to learn but just cannot get it. things that are simple, second nature to others, but for some reason my body cannot follow. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As someone else pointed out, I can’t dance. I couldn’t tell you what that flower is – a rose, maybe a tulip, that’s it. My mother-in-law said “everyone knows flowers” and I just looked at her and said, “not EVERYONE.” That said, I can tell you every best picture winner for the past 50 years. Some things stick, some don’t! And I’d rather watch “The Godfather” one more time than plant an Orchid!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. (1) I once took introductory dance lessons. My body didn’t cooperate.
    (2) I tried roller skating and ice skating a few times, but had to run into something to stop.
    (3) When I was young, I did a bit of water skiing. I tried to snow ski one time, but found I couldn’t make a turn without falling on my face.
    But had I pursued any of these activities, I’m sure I would eventually have done reasonably well at them.

    When I was in elementary school, I was assigned to play trombone. I practiced a lot, and played well. But in my third year of school (7th Grade), I had a mean instructor who on at least one occasion struck me really hard on the head with his wooden baton. He was convinced I was making mistakes when, in fact, it was the player next to me. My parents took action, and withdrew me from the class. I never took up another instrument after that, although I do want to eventually learn how to play a Yamaha keyboard that I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago.

    Years after receiving my M.A. in French Literature, I decided to get a degree in Mathematics. I was curious to see if my brain could successfully branch off in that direction. Due to a failing first marriage that would eventually end in divorce, I had to call it quits just a few college credits short of the degree, but I got through analytical geometry and differential calculus with flying colors. It wasn’t until my last course that I finally received a grade lower than an A. Although I was disappointed in the B I earned in Linear Algebra, I was convinced that had I been able to continue another semester, I would have pocketed that Math degree.

    I also came within an inch of getting an M.A. in Education, but was again derailed by personal circumstances. At least I attended enough classes to acquire K-8 teacher certification, which allowed me to teach elementary school until I got sick of the system and bailed.

    In short, I’m keenly aware that I have physical and intellectual limitations. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get my feet wet, and maybe even wade into the water a good distance.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s okay Pete😊 Of course I know what you are talking about here. I always have trouble with numbers, never been my strongest at that😊
    Luckilye the classic editor is still there Pete, and you are still with us, which for me is the most important thing😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder if it isn´t some kind of mental block. I never learned to type. I´ve taken classes in school and later as an adult but still can´t do it. I´ve written 8 books with two fingers. Weird, I know. BTW I never learned to play the piano or swim either.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are so many things I cannot do. I remember when I was a young manager getting frustrated with my older crew who almost refused to try to learn new technology. I get it now. We are tired of the newest, latest and greatest tech thing. We have been through it too many times. For me, though, the drive to keep writing and connecting is enough to push me onward. I now understand why so many people simply write in Word and then copy and paste it into their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I understand. No one seems as in the dark about the new Editor as me. I thought I got it, but ended up published 5 hours before I actually clicked the button! My settings haven’t change – so I’m on the aggravated side of dark!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t read maps especially when one is thrust at me by the driver who expects me to instantly give directions…Yet if I know the direction something is in then I just drive and take what I think is a turning in the correct direction and I get there ….:) x…I can see the way in my mind just not on a map…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I once read an article claiming it is related to gender. Women used to stay by the cave/fire/children, and men had to wander long distances to hunt animals for food. Males developed a better idea of orientation, landmarks, and location. However, there are lots of women who did remarkable things involving maps, so that article is only a theory. 🙂

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    1. That’s the reason why I spent two years at school trying to learn to play a guitar and double bass, only to fail miserably at both. Sheet music was like Maths to me, equally indecipherable. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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