So mused Inigo Montoya, and now, so muses Sora.
There are several words in question here. I’ll start with a piece of advice that I have really embraced: when you don’t know the meaning of a word (and “sort of” does not count), look it up – right then. Not “in a little bit,” not tomorrow, not during that time you have specifically reserved for word-looking-up-ness. Right now. Here are some benefits of right now:
1. I will forget to look up words at any of those other times, absolutely guaranteed.
2. Learning the definition of a word at the moment I need it helps me understand what the heck I’m reading. Therefore, the rest of my reading increases in productivity.
3. Every time I stumble upon that word thereafter (especially in the same text), it reinforces the definition.
Maybe this does not hold true for everyone, but I have to give myself this speech once in a while (aka several times a day). But here’s a good way to look at it! If you take the 30 minutes to search for mysterious words right then, it increases learning and productivity SO much more for the rest of the time you’re studying or reading.
On a more unfortunate and meaningful level – this was my problem in physics. I did not understand the scientific definition of words like acceleration, and I would assume that its definition was the one I already knew from everyday life. Therefore, physics problems baffled me, as I only had a “sort of” knowledge about the definition. This would have been a great time to look up the words that I didn’t know.
“But the definitions are made up of more words I don’t know!”
Keep looking up! Keep digging! It’ll help! And then go ask someone. People know things, and people are very helpful.
Coming back to Inigo, though. His quote has taken on a new dimension for me. Now with school, I know most of the words used in lecture (except for physical biochem – I’m still pretty bad at that, but I’m working on it!). But the volume…I did not know what volume meant before now. I had 6 hours of lecture yesterday and 4 today, and I am so behind on reviewing the material. It’s fun stuff to learn and read over, but there’s so much of it! I can’t believe I’m already agreeing with the people who told me over and over about the pancakes and the firehose. But all those people also said don’t stress and just keep plugging along, so if their analogies about the workload are true, then I will believe them about the light at the end of the tunnel!
So I better get back to marching along!
Cheers, and let’s shake off any indolence, go forth, and google all those bewildering words together!