I’m Finally Fishing!

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” — Chinese proverb

My Favorite Domer finally got tired of my inane questions yesterday and told me he was going to teach me how to fish.

This all started about a month ago, when I purchased a new MP3 to replace one that was barely limping along.

The new one didn’t come with a manual. Everything I needed to know — or so its advertisement claimed — was available inside the player itself.


Not particularly.

I’m more of a visual learner. I rather like wading through instruction manuals, testing out the features for myself and learning which buttons control which functions.

Not my son.

Give him a gadget, any gadget, and he’ll immediately start punching buttons, trashing “folders and stuff you don’t need,” hooking up accessories for immediate use!

So during the past month, any time I’ve had a question about Mr. MP3, I’ve wailed for my son: “What does this button do?” “How can I make it….?” “Why won’t it shut off?” Etc.

Yesterday he was on his computer when I had to beg for more help.

“Okay, mom, I’m going to teach you how to fish,” he said.

He sat at my computer, moved music from one folder to another, copied it to Mr. MP3, and said, “There you go — all done!”

And he left.

Realizing that he’d done the same thing for a month — and I wasn’t one bit wiser — I pulled out some CDs, ripped them to my computer, copied them to Mr. MP3, and organized them into category folders.

All. By. Myself!

Feeling all techy and smart by then, I told him that if you’re going to teach a man to fish, you need to know what his learning style is. Some of us can’t simply watch while our mentor puts a worm on a hook, tosses a line into the water, and reels in the catch-of-the-day.

We’ve gotta do it ourselves!

8 thoughts on “I’m Finally Fishing!

  1. That was one of the most amazing things I learned as a supervisor, that there are basically 4 learning styles. After I got really mature in my job I started using that fact to be more effective reaching people. And I’ve seen it change in myself…I used to be a read-the-user-manual type of person, but now I’m a tell-me-how-to-do-it person, and I’m more open to being shown.

  2. I suspect if teachers knew and used this type of information, students would learn (and enjoy learning) so much more! Thanks for weighing in with a real-life example; it’s interesting to note that our learning styles can change over time, too!

  3. I think I’m somewhere in between. I start out reading the manuals, but when I get stuck and can’t figure it out, then I start guessing. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t!

    I’m glad you were able to get your music on the player yourself. That’s my job in the house because hubby has no desire to fish…er, learn 😉 That’s okay, in a few short years, my son will render my ‘skills’ obsolete and I’ll be begging him for help, I’m sure.

    • Oh, Janna, be sure to enjoy those times when your son impresses you with his quick learning and ability! I’m sure you, like me, will be totally blown away! Kids are just fearless — they start punching buttons before they even know what those buttons do. I’m trying to take notes and assume a more fearless attitude myself — if it works for them, perhaps that’s the way it should work!

  4. I can do most stuff on the computer or teach myself but when my mom or a friend asks for help I am often at a loss. . .I am just a terrible teacher. I agree you have to try to find out how the other person can best hear and understand you.

    • Sometimes it’s really hard teaching others, isn’t it? We’re so familiar with the way a thing operates that we almost take it for granted. Teaching another person stretches our patience, especially when we don’t take into consideration their learning style. Thanks for visiting, Katybeth!

  5. Yay, you! Hubby taught me how to do that about a month ago, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll remember every step to do it next time….good thing I made a very long songlist! (however part of me wishes I’d sorted it out, but know way I’m going to do it all over again!)

    • It’s one of those things that you do a lot of in one fell swoop, then don’t touch again for months. I think that’s why it doesn’t stick with us!

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