I spent most of my youth wondering what the heck made things work; what people were trying to tell me. This continued well into my teens and probably into adulthood as well. Why does this come to mind now?
Today as I write this the Super Bowl is starting. I won't be watching it. From fifth grade on I was always made to enroll in two musical courses each semester; band. orchestra, chorus, music appreciation, etc. In 10th grade I was in both band and orchestra, playing french horn. Just down the hall from the music room was a corner room that was still in session, with the door propped open for ventilation in pre-air conditioned days, when we left the music room. I soon realized it was a phys ed class for boys; not anything active but lessons on football strategy. This set me thinking. I had never realized that football involved strategy. I didn't even understand the rules nor the object of the game. I spent quite a few hours in the stands, trying not to freeze, holding my mouthpiece in my armpit to keep it from freezing as did the other players, while often snow drifted down; waiting for the bandmaster to give us the signal that our team had done something good, and we played a rousing salute. I still don't understand the game. Something I didn't realize was that girls were involved in football only to admire - or snare - a football hero; to look sexy and do the cheerleader bit, etc., not understand the game. If they really wanted us to be fans, shouldn't they at least explain the game to us?
I understand and like soccer because someone explained it to me. I like racing, especially the Kentucky Derby, but I've ridden horses from childhood and read all of Dick Francis' novels on racing. I love billiards as I learned from a real master. Some others I learned one way or another.
Very few adults really take the time to explain things adequately to kids or teenagers, It's no wonder so many grow up ill prepared for life as a grown-up. I cannot estimate how much time I spent in the principal's office, or being sent to my room, for what reason I often didn't really understand. I was punished for not "acting like a little lady": or being ladylike. Huh? Or not following the rules, which had never been explained to me. Or not really trying at some sport, the basics of which had never been explained to me. I can count on my fingers the number of adults and teachers who actually explained things clearly; my beloved great aunt Amelia who taught me to read when I was 3, and to add, divide, multiply, etc. before I was five; my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Winter, my seventh grade geography and grammar teachers, my tenth grade algebra teacher, my 11th grade biology/genetics teacher in a summer course at U. of Nebraska, the famous and courageous Lloyd Bucher. I wish there had been more of them.
Unfortunately most of what I learned in life I had to teach
myself, by books,