Journal Entry

21 August 2001 ... Not Verbal
So, things have been extraordinarily slow at work for the past couple of weeks. And yesterday they finally came up with something cool for me to do. I am learning to run the laser.

It's really interesting. You've got the big laser machine where you set the signs to be cut. And you've got the computer, running Illustrator which "prints" out to the laser. I've only spent about two hours in front of the thing, but I do have a half-decent grasp of how the stuff works.

But, learning something new and complicated -- not just the laser machine, but I am also unfamiliar with the software -- really made me notice how my brain works. Sure, I learn by doing, just like everyone else. The thing I noticed was how I just do not absorb the spoken word.

I am not a verbal person. It usually takes me a while to figure out how to organize the words I want to say. Therefore, I usually just don't say anything because by the time I've got my words right, the conversation has moved on to other things. I just never realized that I have problems getting other people's words into my brain as well.

For instance. At the laser, I'm doing my thing, I've learned enough to start asking intelligent questions. So I ask one of my questions. "Is the green such and such and the red such and such something else?" My teacher corrects me, sets me right and says why. His words just fly right by me. I ask him to say that whole thing again, and this time I am really concentrating on what he's saying. But I still can't understand. He reads my blank look, and I just shake my head and turn back to the computer. Eventually I figure out the answer by looking at the physical stuff on the screen.

And he's still joking about confusing me over the red and green thing. heh.

But thinking about it, I realize that verbal words fly by me quite often. Another "for instance" from maybe a week ago. I was cleaning one of the sign making machines with my partner. She went to sit at her desk or something and a few minutes later I looked up and said, "Oh, man, I'm missing my break." She said, "Yeah, I told you five minutes ago that it was break time and you looked at me and just kept working." And, I do remember her saying something, right before she left me, I guess it just never registered.

Which is, you know, a very weird feeling. Knowing that I am a fairly smart person. And also knowing that I can be staring right at a person and not understand a word they're saying.

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