Author Topic: "Remedial"  (Read 824 times)

Jez

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"Remedial"
« on: August 08, 2013, 11:29:25 pm »
When I was in school, the word 'remedial' was used euphemistically.  It was a bad thing that we were too polite to talk about.  It was not until I was an adult that I made the connection between 'remedial' and 'remedy'--as in to fix that which is not as it should be.

I will likely be taking remedial mathematics courses in the near future.  I am actually looking forward to them.  When I was supposed to be learning algebra the first time, my problems were a bit more "life and death" than "solve for x."  I mention that not to evoke pity, but to remind us that there are a great many reasons our skills may need repair beyond "not good enough" or "not smart enough."

Probably the most common cause of skill decay is atrophy.  There's a quote from the Witchblade television show:  "Skills are like fruit.  If you don't take them off the shelf and use them, they rot.  They go soft.  They stink."

It seems to me that no set of human skills is more prone to decadence than the social.

When we are children, most of us are allotted limited time for play between classes.  This recess is that same length for all of us, and we all need the same break to unwind amidst lessons.  We are all aware of this.  So we take turns on the slide.  Each of us waits patiently--if noisily--while the others have their fun.  Should one of us attempt to bypass the line, the others shout and shame him back to his place.  There is a tangible social consequence for breaking the unwritten rules of behavior.

As adults, however, it is not uncommon for one of us to deem his time more important than the others'.  People cut across lanes of traffic, endangering other drivers, because they believe their desire to reach their destination greater than that of their fellows.  On the highway, this often results in a honked horn.

In a situation without the fiberglass shelter of our cars for protection, however, we tend to pretend we have not noticed the breaches of etiquette.  Why do we feign engrossment in our phones when someone pushes their way to the front of the queue?  As children we had no trouble imposing social order.  Perhaps remedial classes in socialization would help.

For myself, I could use re-education in the making of friends.  When I was a child, friendship was easy, "I like your binder.  I too enjoy the artistry of Lisa Frank.  Let us split a Twinkie and be inseparable henceforth."  Now, I often see people with whom I would like to talk.  I want to yell at them, "You seem awesome!  Let's talk about geeky things and politics and the nature of self!" but I have lost the trick of it.  I am mired in, "What if it's creepy, and what if she just wants to be left alone and what if I smell funny?"

So I say, bring on the remedial.



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I like words.  I like that each of them is a story.  I like to pick them apart and see how they work and where they take me.  If no one finds them terribly tiresome, I may do this sort of many essay regularly.  I have thoughts percolating on "talent."

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: "Remedial"
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 02:26:49 am »
AMEN SISTER!

(For the record, I started with remedial math - math 20. I'm now on my way to my 5th consecutive term on the President's List.)
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Reginald Ret

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Re: "Remedial"
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 02:02:04 pm »
I like this.

I like words.  I like that each of them is a story.  I like to pick them apart and see how they work and where they take me.  If no one finds them terribly tiresome, I may do this sort of many essay regularly.  I have thoughts percolating on "talent."
Please do!
Lord Byron: "Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves."

Nigel saying the wisest words ever uttered: "It's just a suffix."

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