How Learning Can Open Your Eyes

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Dec 24, 2018 11:38
Yesterday morning, I learned a new English word - repercussion, and I put the word and its definition on my flashcard set. I have heard of this word many times before, but never remember it because I was too lazy to take the time to look up the dictionary and get acquainted with the spelling.

During dinner, I always watch videos, mostly about politics. As I was watching a video with English subtitles, I started noticing the word - repercussion appearing several times. I was amazed. This incident reminded me of a story I read on a graphic design book.

Robin, the author of this book. He received a book about how to recognise different trees as a Christmas gift. At the time, he was in his parents’ house. He decided to go out and take a walk. Before going out, he browsed through the book and found one type of tree interesting. While looking at the picture, he said to himself: “This tree looks so weird, I don’t think there are such trees in northern California. If I have seen it, I would remember it.”

With the knowledge he just gained from the book, he went out. Surprisingly, he discovered four such trees around his parents’ house. He couldn’t believed it because he lived in this place for 13 years and had never seen them. As he walked around, he found more this type of trees. He concluded that there were at least 80% of residents here planted such trees.

What he was trying to say is that once you know the name of something, you will then notice its existence.

The way I interpreted this story is that when you gain a new knowledge, your eyes will be open. A few years ago, my English was at a low level and I rarely talked about politics with people. Once, I went out with a group of English speaking friends. We had a picnic in a park and I videotaped the conversation they had. Apparently, I didn’t understand anything. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, I saw the video again and realised that they were talking about politics. I understand the conversation now is because I have learned more about the world politics and the vocabulary that is necessary in order to understand such topics.
昨天早上,我学到了一个新英语词汇 - repercussion. 我将它和它的意思放入我的闪卡当中。此前我也听过这个词,但从来没有记住它,因为我很懒,不愿意花时间查字典,并记住它的拼写。

晚餐时间,我习惯看视频,多数是关于政治的。昨晚我在看一个有英文字幕的视频,我开始注意到这个早上刚学的词汇多次出现在视频中。我觉得很神奇。这件事让我想起一个曾在一本平面设计书上读到的小故事。

罗宾是这本书的作者。一次,他收到了一本关于辨识树木的书籍,作为圣诞礼物。当时他在他的父母家。他决定出去走走。出门前,他浏览了这本书,并看到了一种很有意思的树。他看着这张图,自说自话:“这种树长得真奇怪,北加州肯定没有这种树,如果我曾经看过,我一定会记得。”

带着书中学到的知识,他出门了。他在他父母的房子周围意外地发现了四棵这种树。他简直不敢相信,因为他在这个地方住了十三年,但从未见过它们。他走着走着,又发现了更多这种树。最后,他总结出,这个地方至少有百分之八十的居民都种了此类树。

他想表达的观念是,一旦你知道某中东西的名字,你就能意识到它的存在。

我从这个故事中学到的是,一旦你获得一种新的知识,你的眼界将会被打开。
几年前,我的英语水平还很低,也很少跟人谈论政治方面的话题。有一次,我与一帮来自英语国家的朋友出去玩儿。我们在一个公园里野餐,然后我用手机录下他们聊天的内容。很显然,当时我完全没听懂他们的对话。直到几周前,我再次看到这个视频才意识到他们在讨论政治。我现在能听懂是因为我经常关注世界政治问题,并学会了不少关于政治的词汇。