Slow learner

December 7, 2017, Israel and Miami 

Updated February 12, 2021, Troy, Ohio, USA 

Looking back with the perspective of years I think about the slow learners and the fast learners, or the "Quicker Picker-Uppers".

The fact is it does not really matter how long it takes for you to learn something, it only matters how dedicated you are, how committed you are to learning this topic. As the saying goes, "Time will tell".

The "Slow Learners" are made to feel bad, made to feel stupid. They wonder why can't they pick up the material as fast as others; "What is wrong with me?"

The problem is the teacher, no the students. As Arik Einstein wrote, "Drive Slowly" (Sah Le'at, Hebrew) and get there safe and enjoy the ride. Why is the slow learner made to feel stupid?

This negative attitude towards the slow learner causes him to feel frustrated, he feels he is holding back the rest of the group, now he is becoming more stressed and this only slows him down further.

What is the rush? Time passes so quickly and it is wasted by people who are always in a hurry to pass the time.

Slow Down! As we sayin Hebrew, Sah Le'at.

I have never been a fast learner but I have always been very thorough. Interestingly I just heard an interview with Arthur Cohen in which he also says he was never a fast learner. So we have something in common. I am never shamed to tell my childhood stories; Third grade, Savyon school, 23 kids in class., and that includes the girls. Choosing sides for soccer, always a terrifying experience, no one wants to be chosen last.

I am chosen 23rd and since it is an odd number the teacher puts my name on the board in parenthesis, i.e. it does not matter which team Moshe is on, he will never come close to the ball anyway.

Hmm...makes me laugh now. Black Belt Hall of Fame, international instructor of the year twice, magazines, TV interviews all over the world, etc. etc. not to brag but to inspire. I was chosen 23rd out of 23, so how bad can you be?

Do not make anyone feel bad because the way they learn, the way they process information is different from you, remember, "Educate the young man according to his way." (Proverbs), each of us is different We all have different ways of learning. I like to learn slowly, one step at at time, and no, I am not stupid, or "Slow".

High school, Miami, Florida; oh how the years fly, with Gary, Kenny, Josh and Joel. Playing football, a game I was not familiar with as I grew up in Israel  Coach shouts out some vague unclear instructions; go long, cut left, etc I do not really understand. So I take a moment to review his instructions. Coach turns towards one of the other guys and says, "Is this guy slow or what?"

The student responds, "No Coach, actually he is the top Talmud student in the school, he is very thorough, he wants to make sure he understands.

Coming home  from great seminars in Brazil, a stop off in Miami, Florida, I meet a dentist named Nick. Turns out he knows some of my classmates from high school. The memories surface, back in High School.

Don't call me slow, " Sah le'at" Drive Slowly.

We each learn differently, let each student grow and learn his own way, some by touch, some by sound, some by sight, some fast, some slow.

The time flies, we learn lessons, fast, slow, what does it matter, time takes care of all. In a year what difference will it make? Who will remember how long it took?  

Patience is the greatest teacher. And as I pass through Miami I see my parents as they were 39 years ago when we lived here, and I wonder about time. Everything exists on a parallel plane, Sah le'at drive slowly. Learn your own way. 

Don't call me slow. 

"Don't worry, they will not start without us" (Arik Einstein)

Teach correctly and your students will soon be flying, give them wings, give them confidence, let them find their own way. And, go slowly if need be. 

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