The Other Way to Learn

One ten-pound tripod. One canon camera. Too many variables to count, and two weeks before my professional video demo is due. I’m in over my head, but This, I tell myself, This is how you learn to make quality video. It’s like writing. Just go for it.

I’ve only just begun to realize that the times I’ll look back on as the most productive and educational are the times I’m most acutely aware of my own inadequacy. It’s not a pleasant feeling. But these times, when I know I’m not good enough or that I’m not up to the task at hand, are when I try my hardest to be that competent person I want to be and end up stretching towards my seemingly unreachable goal.

My video project is just a mild case of education by tribulation. I’ve had two courses by now that were trials almost every step of the way. In biology class I ended up memorizing more than I ever thought was possible. In history class, as I wrote my final paper, I knew I was missing important points but that I was incapable of seeing what they were. Both classes were deeply frustrating at times. Both gave me enormous satisfaction when I finally saw the A’s on my transcript.

It’s hard not to shy away from such experiences. To be sure, some aren’t worth the pain. But others are, and you only learn which is which by experimenting. I once said that the best kind of learning is the kind you don’t notice happening, and I still believe that. The other best kind is that which is the hardest won, that you’ll always rememember the fight you put up in order to get it.

Don’t shy away. Embrace the challenge. Take on something new, big or small, that you’ll remember.



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