This fun little Uber Fact was shared by a couple of my family members last week and it reminded me of a math test that I failed.
I’m setting aside my humility and bragging a bit now, I was a smart kid. I did well in school, I graduated from high school with a 4.1 GPA, tutored other students and constantly found my name misspelled in the newspaper on the honor roll… at least from the 6th grade on. I was home schooled from kindergarten through 5th grade. The decision to home school me and my siblings (yes that’s proper grammar) was made before I was even in preschool.
At the time (I don’t know how it is now), the state required that home schooled students take a standardized test each year to “pass” the grade. My publicly educated peers took proficiency tests less frequently. The tests had to be supplied by the state and proctored by a qualified person. One year, several of us were set up to take our individual tests for our grades. We had our #2 pencils and spent several hours in silence filling in bubbles. I can’t remember what grade it was, but I failed the math portion. I was allowed to retake the math section of the test within a very short period of time. For the retake, it was just me and the proctor for the test. I scored very well on the retake. I didn’t have additional coaching or tutoring. I did well because on the retake, I was allowed to work out the math problems verbally since there weren’t other students.
Silent environments may help some learn and perform, while hindering others.
My husband, my mom and my coworkers could all tell you that I talk to myself. Frequently.
Reading something out loud or even explaining it to another person helps me remember it. Tutoring other students helped me as well.
I feel that I was wrongly instructed to study in silence and my grades were potentially harmed in certain college courses (hello statistics!) because of not being permitted to use my mouth in conjunction with my brain.
I’m very happy that adulthood has never required me to do my job in absolute silence. In fact, many of the people I work with also listen to music all day. I write and create things for a living and it’s never done in silence.
As an interesting aside, I discovered in college that certain papers were easier to write while drinking a beer (just one guys, just to be clear drunk writing isn’t typically good writing) and at my job, “I’ll work on this over a glass of wine tonight” is a common comment from more than one of us. My theory is that the simple act of pouring yourself a drink puts you in a more relaxed mood, whether that be beer, wine, tea or a milkshake.
I’m grateful that I was able to retake that test. If I had not been, I would have been held back a grade by the state and my life would have taken a very different course.
Also, according to a study, talking to yourself improves cognitive function.
Do you talk to yourself? If so, are you nice to yourself?