“If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
It’s a phrase I find myself pondering as I study for my test. Right now I’m in the “background” chapters of my reference manual, which consists of lots of math that unfortunately I’ve forgotten. I don’t really like the way the book is structured because a lot of the math is based off of calculus. I remember the very basics of calculus and can probably solve a very simple derivative or integral if you threw a problem in front of me, but that’s about it. The book is jumping right into concepts I learned as a sophomore so my brain is struggling to remember, especially anything having to do with structures. My school didn’t have an environmental engineering degree, so my best option was getting a civil engineering degree with an emphasis in environmental engineering. This meant taking a lot of difficult classes on structures that I didn’t particularly enjoy and never used again after graduation.
I used to roll my eyes whenever I heard people complaining about algebra, and why should they have to learn it if they never have to use it? “HOW DARE YOU,” I’d think. “ALGEBRA IS EVERYWHERE.” Don’t get me wrong; I like math. But now I get it. I don’t particularly WANT to re-learn the radius of gyration or moments of inertia, though I know that these concepts help, you know, keep buildings from falling. So that’s important, right? But I don’t. CARE.
So I am moving through my reference manual at a snail’s pace as I struggle to remember concepts I learned nearly 15 years ago. It’s good times.*
I find this concept of forgetting things I used to do well extending even into my crafting life. I often focus on one technique for awhile and go into a craft frenzy. A couple of months ago I was just crocheting all the time. Now I’m doing a lot of knitting. I still consider myself to be a beginner of both, so jumping from one to another can sometimes cause my brain to pause. For example, I was flying back from Philadelphia several months ago. We hadn’t taken off yet because of the weather, so I dug out a knitting project. Now, for several weeks before this, I’d been doing a lot of cross-stitching for my cousin’s wedding present. And as I sat there, with my yarn and needles in hand, I realized – I’d forgotten how to cast-on. I moved my needles frantically around the yarn, hoping that it would magically come back , but no. I could not remember how to cast on.
Or whenever I move back to a crochet project, I keep having to refresh myself on the stitches. I think I’ve got single crochet (or double crochet for UK readers) down for life, but even with that stitch, I sometimes do a quick refresher in the event that somehow I’ve been doing it wrong all these years, because WHAT IF. WHAT IF, GUYS.
Relearning how to do something can be really frustrating. It takes a lot of patience and willpower. But like anything in life worth doing, taking the extra time to sit down and relearn a task or skill can only help in the future!
In other news, I kind of broke my promise about crafting from my stash:
This is the first craft magazine I’ve bought in awhile. This is from the latest issue of Mollie Makes. This little guy looks just like Apollo! I can’t wait to stitch him up this weekend. I hope you guys have a great weekend as well!
*In case my parents are reading this – see guys, I’m ACTUALLY STUDYING YAYYYYY.