Friday, February 20, 2009

The Big Questions

So normally at the end of the week I write a blog pertaining to the weekend social life. Tonight I decided not to do that. I had an epiphany this week and I just needed to write about it. This was one of those moments where the light bulb just comes on, and it all makes sense. It has to do with the way people learn and how they think. I believe that everyone has one big question that they ask, and almost anything that they remember or learn pertains to that question.

The questions that I'm talking about are the simple one's that we learned in the 2nd grade; who?, what?, when?, where?, why?, and how?. So here's the theory: everyone has one question that they particularly cling to. Most engineers want to know how things work; historians of various sorts ask the who and where questions; and psychologists want to know why. These different questions shape people's lives by giving them something specific to study and analyze.

The question that I ask is "why?". This question drives my very being (now don't think that, I do have a social life). Even the blog that I write in twice a week is an analytical approach to why people act the way they do. I find that when I can figure out why something is the way it is then I can understand it. These understandings come from something as simple as a math process to something as complicated as the human brain.

In math I find that I can do perfectly in the class if I know why the equations work the way they do. If a process is just thrown in front of me, I will be able to do it, but I won't be able to do it correctly all of the time. Some people are the opposite. If they learn why something is the way it is it only confuses them more. They want to know how to do it or what to do, but when it comes to the question of why they would rather not know. I believe this is why some people can do so much better on certain exams than others. If the subject is difficult to attach to your personal question then it is nearly impossible to attach any amount of importance to it. Without importance it is very difficult for us to want to remember or care about a specific subject. These different questions shape the way that individuals learn and think.

In more social situations I am constantly analyzing why people sit where they sit, or why they say a certain phrase. Other people are perplexed by how someone can talk so fluidly or act so ignorantly. While the rest are trying to get the facts of the stories down. This is just a difference in that personal question; contributing to why each individual takes something different out a a situation. Different interpretations come from different questions, which can cause great confusion but at the same time give great incites into different situations. So next time you find yourself studying math or a social situation, try to figure out what your personal question is. I think you'll be surprised.


  1. I definitely can understand and relate to the need to know how processes and equations work to be able to perform an operation correctly. Similarly, last semester, I was in Calculus 2 and was throw equation after equation and had no idea why certain things worked the way they did. Because of this, I was unable to perform as best that I could because of that mental block of confusion that I connected with lack of explanation.

  2. I really like this theory that everyone has a simple question that they want answered, whether it be in their daily lives or something they are constantly wondering. We all think differently and it's really cool that we can acknowledge that and embrace it.