What’s Your Learning Style?
Blog post by Marcha Fox
As I recall, there are three basic learning styles: Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. I’m somewhere between visual and kinesthetic, so I’m delighted with modern media’s emphasis on graphics. Not being an auditory learner was a major disadvantage when I was a kid. Being ADHD made it worse, plus I had a last name that began with “U”, so was typically seated in the back of the room. Looking back, it’s no surprise I got mediocre grades because, more often than not, what the teacher said did go in one ear and out the other. The one and only time I got sent to the principal’s office was when my 4th grade teacher got mad at me for doodling during one of her lectures. Good ol’ Miss DePalma. Think of her as a young version of Sophia Petrillo on “The Golden Girls.” Everyone was scared of her, with good reason.
Recently, I found out from a retired teacher friend that I probably have auditory dyslexia, which explained a lot. It’s always handy to have a name to pin on your afflictions, somehow absolving the guilt you’ve carried your entire life for being inadequate. So there, take that, Miss DePalma!
To survive, I learned to take copious notes, but never got very good grades, regardless, or appeared particularly intelligent. I was the mouse in the back of the room, wishing myself invisible, terrified when asked to respond to a question. Yet, many years later, I earned a physics degree. It wasn’t easy, especially with six kids at home, but I did it. See? I’m smarter than I look. How I’d love to wave that sheepskin in front of some of those teachers, but by now they’re most likely dead.
This is one situation where I can say, along with Han Solo in the original Star Wars, “Sometimes I amaze even myself.” I was nothing special throughout my public school years, earned mediocre grades, yet I became a “rocket scientist” who worked at NASA for over 21 years. Who would have thunk it?
And again, even college would have been less stressful if there’d been less talking and more visual aids. Words and pictures both have their place. Words, spoken or written, then coupled with illustrations are a powerful tool. Some look upon the advent of graphic novels (somewhere between comics and a full-length book) as inferior, but I’m inclined to defend them, particularly for those who are visually-oriented like myself. If it encourages kids to read when they’re not comfortable with a profusion of words on a page, why not? A similar rationale could be made for audio books. Isn’t it better for them to listen to a good book and discover the pleasure of reading, even if done by someone else, rather than not experience it at all?
If you have children in your life, do you know what their learning style is? Regardless of whether you’re a parent, teacher, grandparent, auntie, uncle, or friend, knowing this could make a tremendous difference in helping a child learn. Give it some thought, then see what you can do to make learning a little more fun, not only for a child, but yourself as well. You might just introduce some future “rocket scientist” currently in disguise as a nondescript, shy child to their educational mother lode.
About Marcha Fox
Marcha Fox is an avid science fiction fan and author with over 20 years’ experience in positions ranging from technical writer to engineer to manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in physics, which was but a prelude to her interest in the unexplained mysteries of the cosmos. Inspired by science fiction to pursue a career in a technical field, she hopes to instill the same fascination in young readers, while providing older ones with classic hard science fiction.
Born in Peekskill, New York, she has lived in California, Utah, and Texas in the course of raising her family, which included fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom before returning to college in her 30s to obtain her degree, a feat accomplished while she still had six children at home. All are now grown with children of their own providing her with 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren so far. Never at a loss for something to do, besides writing she’s a professional astrologer who enjoys gardening, her two Bengal cats and a sassy tuxedo, and keeping up with family.
Find Marcha Fox
The Terra Debacle:
Prisoners at Area 51
Thyron is a flora peda telepathis (telepathic walking plant) from the planet Sapphira on an adventure gone terribly wrong. The bad decision of a human girl and her maniacal robot companion has stranded them on Earth, where his botanical cousins face horrible fates such as consumption by herbivores, incineration, and brutal annihilation for use as building material.
Following capture, Thyron is transported to Area 51, where NASA exobiologist, Gabe Greenley, studies his every move, ecstatic with the opportunity to examine an entirely new lifeform. In due course, the scientist makes a ground-breaking discovery, distressed by the fact he can never share it due to his security oaths and research agreement. Eventually, he’s confronted by an even worse ethical dilemma that forces him to make a treasonous and potentially deadly decision.
Will Thyron’s psychic powers be enough to save him? Is Greenley friend or foe? Or does the exobiologist have a few secrets of his own?
Find out in this unique combination of hard science fiction, suspense, and a touch of humor populated with memorable characters in a setting loaded with intrigue. Unexpected plot twists coupled with a unique ending make this an unforgettable tale whether you’re a science fiction fan, botanist, UFO aficionado, or simply enjoy a good story.
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