Well, I learned something new about myself this week. I’m a kinesthetic learner.
Yep, I feel all high falutin’ saying that, but I read about it in an article about different learning styles and sure enough, I’m one of them thar things. It means I hear/think/process best while I’m moving. Somehow my gray matter works better when my legs are pumping.
I realized long ago that I focused better when I could pace while talking on the phone. Even when they used to be plugged into the wall (who remembers those days?), I would literally tie myself up in knots pacing with the phone cord. Nowadays I can just take off walking in a straight line and conclude my conversation somewhere in the next county.
And I knew early on I was a wiggler in school – because every teacher I ever had called me that. One innovative teacher would have me do the Hokey Pokey when I got too wiggly. It was actually a swell idea. I tried that in church once but it didn’t go over well. Can’t help it. My mind wanders if my legs don’t. I’m convinced that the congregation should rise mid-way through the sermon and march around the pew to a rousing chorus of “Father Abraham had many sons.” Wouldn’t that be fun? We could all get the wiggles out together.
To this day I struggle to pay attention when I have to sit still. Now I know why. Because I’m a kinesthetic learner. It explains so much.
While I’m creatively writing (a book or devo), I have to exit my squeaky computer chair every fifteen minutes or so and take a lap around the house before settling back in to have another short go of it.
Sometimes I just keep going right out the door and make it a lap around the neighborhood so I can hash out the next few paragraphs in my mind. After 20 years of writing numerous books this way, the neighbors now know I’m deep in creative thought via my weird writing habit and they don’t even bother trying to talk, but silently wave. One man hollers when he sees me, “You’re writing in your head again, aren’t you?”
I guess I’m a kinesthetic writer too. Maybe that’s why writing books are such a labor of love for me. It’s really and truly labor when I walk a quarter of my writing time away. Forget how many mpg my car gets; on a good roll going downhill, I average around three mpc (miles per chapter).
Spouse gets exasperated with me when we’re watching TV or a movie at home together because I leap up every 15 or 20 minutes and leave the room to do heaven knows what – doesn’t really matter what. I simply must move. I’m usually only gone about 45 seconds but I have to walk around to process the story I’m seeing/hearing. Because I’m a kinesthetic learner. He (being the sweetie he is) tries to hit the pause button as soon as my I spring to my feet (so I won’t miss anything), but I know chopping up a movie into tiny bite-sized pieces like that must drive him bonkers. A two-hour movie takes three. By the time we get to the ending, we can’t remember how it started.
My dog (who sits in my lap for movies) now refuses to get up with me so frequently. He just grunts his displeasure when I rise and rolls over into the empty space on my chair. When I return, I have to sit on his head to make him move over. I presume he’s making a point.
But when you’re a kinesthetic learner like I am (getting to like that phrase now), you have no choice except to hit the road, Jack.
How about you, my friend? In what position do you assimilate information best? What kind of learner are you?