“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
― Hermann Hesse, German Novelist, Poet & Nobel Laureate (1877-1962)
Even in this era of easily available e-books / interactive textbooks, free video lectures from the best in the world, games simulating scenarios and many other techniques, only those individuals who have moved on to learn autonomously based on their motivation levels can effectively use any of the above techniques for learning. While internet based searches can provide much of the information, data and even analyses, ability to understand and use them appropriately or even to verify their authenticity require certain amount of knowledge.
The other two stages of learning are cognitive and associative. Each of the three stages of learning – Cognitive, Associative and Autonomous are crucial in its own ways. In cognitive stage demonstration and repetition is key to development. In the associative stage, more complex information can be processed and the performer can use internal feedback to further improve. In the autonomous stage, the performer is able to concentrate on complex tasks and information and able to adapt their performance. If one can combine all the three stages effectively he / she can remain a life-long learner and learn at their own pace. If the three stages are placed on a continuum, it’d be as below:
Recent experiences of handling my wife’s health related issues spread over the last three months apart from managing aged mother (95+) and day to day chores, made me realise the importance of the first two stages which I very much use for learning. The seven days of being with my wife in the hospital (7th – 13th October) for her surgery and post-surgery recovery took my memories back to a few occasions of being with her alone from the time of our marriage (1980). On each of the occasions, I have learned several things, both about the person and the approach towards life, because of which I could adapt myself to her. This has helped a lot in our harmonious living for over forty two years.
With regard to my wife’s health related issues, especially during the recent three weeks I had to interact with seven different specialists, five MRI/CT Scan/X Ray technicians and over twenty sisters who did nursing for her over three shifts during her stay in the hospital. I had to be alert all the time not only during the interactions, but throughout the stay. It was a great test for my cognitive skills – observation and listening apart from being very patient.
While I was busy attending to my wife’s health, I also had to give attention to a few service projects that we had taken up through Rotary platform. Over the last few years a few of us (Rotarians) had formed a team that included a couple of medical professionals to develop and implement eye-care related service projects. Hence, managing such projects was possible over phone (virtual meetings and calls) from the hospital.
Now that my wife is discharged and back home, thanks to the support of my younger sister and two sons, life has become relatively easier to manage.
October 23, 2022 | Ravi 53