Saturday, September 26, 2009

Teaching An Old Libra New Tricks

It's been a long time since I've had to learn anything new. I haven't been in school or had to learn a new job in 3-4 years; I had reached that "comfortable" zone where things were routine and made sense. But this week I started 2 new jobs, and while being employed again makes other people think you are less of a moron, it doesn't necessarily make you feel that way. It's not that these jobs are hard (I'm an assistant and a hostess) but it scares me how inept I have become after not having to learn anything new for a few years. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in high school math class...I'm jotting down a note and when I look up again the teacher has filled the entire board with formulas I haven't a clue about and when he asks me a question I can't even remember how to subtract 2 from 4.

It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist. I want to know how to do everything perfectly. I wish I could get it right on the first try. I wish I knew the all dimensions of artwork by heart (I'm at an art printmaking company); I wish the placement of table numbers made sense to me—who puts table 9 next to table 17? Honestly.

I know that my mind is just trying to switch gears and I need to give it time to sink in...but sometimes I don't think the people around me understand that. There have been several occasions I have felt like rolling a piece of paper into a cone and sitting in the corner with my dunce cap on. This is partly due to the attitude of my "teachers" (sometimes I see the same look of frustration my math teacher gave me when I was supposed to understand parabolas just because he did), and partly it's my own resistance to change. Getting comfortable in a past job hinders my ability to learn a new one because it suddenly all seems so foreign. I know things will get easier; these jobs will help to diversify my skills, but I'm beginning to wonder if I even had any to begin with.
Excuse me while I go put my cap on.

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