In my two days of being back in school, I’ve had a chance to remember some of the issues I struggled with growing up, and still do as an adult student. My class has about 30 people, and our professor is very experienced and focused on conceptual statistics. Thankfully we don’t need to learn about statistical computer programs (plus, they don’t do much good if you don’t understand how to apply the concepts). Also, computers are very conducive to distractability for me. I use them for research, but also for fun–reading the news, celebrity gossip, watching re-runs, and of course checking email (and now blogging, obviously). I need to look at the teacher 90% of the time to pick up whatever nonverbal cues I can.
Lately, NLD reminds me of two hypothetical situations. The first is waking up in a surprise foreign country where you don’t speak the language, but have no choice except to stumble through broken words. The second is giving someone with no musical training or acuity sheet music for a song they’ve never heard, and expecting them to perform it. In both these situations, mistakes would be inevitable and common, but understandable. I don’t feel this lost all the time, or in every situation, but I do feel lost often. Unfortunately, NLD is misunderstood, even though our confusion is completely justified.