When our math teacher in high school introduced a new topic, what happened next would always follow the same pattern:
- She explains the Pythagorean theorem.
- Nobody gets it.
- She makes an example.
- Some people get it.
- The rest of the class goes “Can you make another example? Pleeeeeeeaaaaase?”
Steps 3-5 of the pattern would then repeat until the majority of the class understood the new concept and the “More examples!” screams slowly died down. Then we moved on.
Since I was often part of the group who got the gist the first go around, I’d be bored for the remainder of the lesson, waiting for everyone else to get the joke so we could continue. In the meantime, instead of listening, I tried to come up with more of my own examples.
I didn’t know it back then, but as it turns out, I was doing something right.