|It is a closed book exam. This photograph was not taken while I actually completed the test, I swear!|
We are in the midst of completing our first exam for the yoga therapy program that I am enrolled in - a three year program that began with nine-days of training in Nashville this past June. The exam covers information that we learned in Nashville. It was a lot - from nuts and bolts anatomy to yoga philosophy (lots of Sanskrit!) to hands-on therapeutic practice. Each of the three teachers has given us a test to complete based on their own areas of strength and interest. I have completed one and have two to go, with one more week to get it all done.
How strange it is to be a real, live serious student again. So much of how I have learned as an adult has been through doing - physically doing something, making mistakes and trying again. Sitting in a classroom with people tapping away on their computers, taking notes (did you know that this is how people take notes these days? I was shocked!) is not something that I have done in years and years. It was a little alarming to notice how my mind took in the hours and hours of lecture. I found myself writing sentences where I wrote words and letters out of order - filling them in piecemeal as I went. Like, I often could not write a straight sentence but filled in the words out of order. Isn't that weird? I am not dyslexic...it was just more non-linear I guess. And I realized that I have this intuitive way of learning that kind of soaks stuff in and cooks it for awhile. It isn't such a great method when one needs to memorize things but it works over a longer period of time. The end result might be just fine but it is not so useful when it comes to written exams. I don't think I was like this in school but somehow, over the years, I have evolved (devolved?) to this state.
Many of the other students in the group, which ranges in age from about 30 to mid 60s, are more exacting students. By this I mean they write their sentences in order and create outlines and format their notes and generally keep things in specific order. I am exacting too, just not in that way. I guess you could say there was a spectrum of intelligences on display. I remember one morning speaking with a couple of people who were pretty far to the other end of the spectrum from me. One was saying how she hadn't got some detail quite exactly right from the previous day and was hoping to double check it with the instructor. I closed my eyes and kind of waved my hands in the air, saying something like, "Oh, it's ok...you know, just soak it in and feel it. It will all come out when you need it." When I opened my eyes, I saw her face, stricken with a look of horror. The other person patted her arm and said, "don't worry honey, you can just the notes from the teacher after breakfast."
I wonder how they are doing with the exam?