Happy Friday everyone, we survived another crazy week, and now it’s time to enjoy the weekend (or if you’re me, the THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!) 🙂
This week in human biology, our objective was to memorize 39 bones in the human body. Having memorized all 39, I proudly recited them to my dad, who stood there with his professional “doctor” face on (the serious poker-face he always adopts when I start talking medicine to him). After finishing, my dad looked puzzled, as if thinking, That’s it?!?!. He went on to tell me that the bones I had named were SUPER SUPER basic level, that I had merely skimmed the surface of the human skeletal system.
That word he used- level- got me thinking about the different levels of knowledge, experience, and sophistication in any facet of life, be it academics, music, sports, etc. The idea of one gaining additional layers of knowledge as one gains experience may seem intuitive, but it is also such a prevalent theme in life that I felt the need to take a step back and examine the role “levels” has played in my life thus far.
Last week, my dance teacher told me about the process of learning latin: you first learn the basic footwork of the dance; then the details of foot placement, hip action, arms, and core come into play. Not at once, of course- over time and diligent practice. Each week I gain a level of dance knowledge and sophistication. But here’s the thing- you ALWAYS have to start at the beginning, set a very strong foundation, and build upon the fundamental technique with more intricate, sophisticated details. Not just with dance, but with anything in life. As an infant, you first learn to sit up, then crawl, then take your first wobbly steps, and eventually run. Levels are a natural phenomenon of life. In math- you start with simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. You use these tools throughout your math journey, whether it’s algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or calculus. All these examples share a common thread- everything ties back to what you learn in the beginning. Without a strong rumba walk, how can I expect to dance difficult open gold routines? Without learning to crawl, how can I run? Without learning basic computation, how will I be able to manipulate variables on a three-dimensional plane?
I guess what I’m saying is, life is comprised of an infinite number of levels. As time passes and you gain more knowledge, your level of expertise increases, until one day you will have become a master (after 10,000 hours of practice, precisely).
So yes, at this point, I only know 39 bones in the human body. But I know that once upon a time, my father was at the exact same point I am at now. Through years and years of studying, he became a master of human anatomy and physiology. I have complete confidence that with hard work, I can be JUST as knowledgeable as my father is. Similarly, I have faith that with practice and time, I will become a great latin dancer one day. I believe that anyone, with intrinsic motivation and desire, can learn and master ANYTHING. It’s all just a matter of climbing your way up the levels, one baby step at a time.