Best learning experience you ever had?

I was on my school’s math team in ninth grade. It made math fun and I got good enough that I coasted through the rest of high school math - no hard work - very high grades. Did great on my SAT and GREs even though I didn’t take math in college.

When I was 2 I stuck a metal prong into an electrical outlet. I learned a lot about voltage and amperes, and also about the necessary energy required to send an average idiotic 2 year old across a room and into the opposite wall.

Never took the SATs.

When I was a freshman in high school our football team was undefeated. Our last game of the year we were playing the weakest team in our league. Instead of the normal rah-rah-rah pep talk before the game, our coach just kind of laughed and said, “We’re going to kill these guys”.

We lost.

Lesson learned: When you are going to battle, no matter how weak your opponent appears, bring all your weapons.


When I was little, we always used to go to a particular chinese restaurant because they served spaghetti and I wouldn’t eat chinese food.

When I was 8 or 9, my nieghbor forced me to try egg foo yung and I learned something important.

Always try new things. You never know what you’re missing.

I teach high school. I learn new stuff every single day. It’s odd really. I think my students teach me more than I teach them.

I’ve learned some amazing things while in alternate states of conciousness. Once, while on salvia, nitrous oxide and grass, I experienced fully the lives of several hundred people, from birth to death, in about 20 minutes or so. I think I’m actually better able to relate to people now, because I was in so many other peoples’ shoes that night. (Not people I knew, just random made-up people.) That was about the most intense experience I’ve ever had, and nothing in the world could have prepared me for it. Although it was intimidating at first, I got used to it and I am quite glad I did it.

Another one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, was when I was with a friend who was taking nitrous oxide for the third time (the other two were from a whipped cream can and from a dentist’s office, so this was her first real experience, in a way). She actually had an orgasm just taking nitrous. We both kept all our clothes on the whole time and there was no physical contact between us whatsoever. :eek: :cool: Wow.

I’ve also learned, from nitrous, some things about how you can’t really understand something until you’ve really experienced it. This came to me in the form of drug-induced enlightenment–I just realized, experienced, understood, knew the true meaning of that you have to do something to really comprehend it. You can say “oh yeah, I know what you mean”, but you don’t really know until you’ve done whatever it is. Sorry if I’m babbling, but it’s quite amazing to me.

Those are my top 3. Not sure what the middle one taught me, but it was a great experience.

I saw that the last post to this thread was from fetus. How could I have possibly known it would be about drugs?


Yikes fetus,

First -

Then -

Bolding mine.

Your post is a bit of a contradiction. I’m not coming down on you. I’m not anti, or pro drug (done my share). But, em, ehhh, words escape me. You do see the contradiction, don’t you?

I guess you are just saying that you have to experience NOX to understand it.

In any case, it was an interesting post.

I can’t think of any learning experiences that really stand out. I would just say that I like learning from experience. I’m also a bit stubborn about it. I like to figure things out on my own. The first attempt usually costs me more than if I had hired someone else to do something for me. The next time I can avoid pitfalls that I learned the first time around (and I’ll already have the tools from the first try. :slight_smile: )

From taking piano lessons, I learned that practice really can turn Difficult into Easy. Frequently, I’d be faced with a new piece to learn, and I’d really have to struggle through it, thinking about where to put my fingers, going laboriously from note to note… it might take forever, but if I forced myself, I could eventually get through it. And then the next time I struggled through it, it would be a little bit easier, and faster, and come just a little more naturally. And the next time, even easier. And eventually it would be almost automatic; I could whip through it perfectly and it would sound like music is supposed to sound.

It’s been years since I played the piano, but the lessons were worth it, if only because they taught me this.

When I was learning to telemark (ski), our instructor refered to this as muscle memory. It gets to a point where you don’t have to think about certain things.

Sort of like typing.

If you think about it, ouaodfyudjkl’,e.

What I just learned from fetus’ post:

[indent]:eek: [sup]Timothy O’Leary lives on.[/sup][/indent]

I do see the contradiction.

I should clarify that, yes, most of it was that you have to experience nitrous to understand it. Also, I still don’t know entirely what to make of having experienced all those different peoples’ lives. I don’t fully comprehend all of those lives and what happened in them…but I feel like I really experienced them. I know the whole thing doesn’t make a lot of sense…but I don’t know what to tell you (or myself, really); drugs don’t necessarily make sense, at least to people who haven’t taken them.

The things I learned from my salvia experience are filed in a seperate category from the things I learned from nitrous. The things I learned from nitrous were about the truthfulness inherent in “you don’t really know what I mean until you’ve seen/experienced/done it” (not necessarily in a drug context, although I have had revelations regarding that) and the fallacy inherent in “no, really, I know what you mean” as a response to that, and how I always think I’ve seen everything…until I see the next thing. Every time I do nitrous, I understand that there’s no way to really explain my experience with it, but that people will think “I understand that” anyway, and there’s no way to really get them to understand that they don’t really know. Then I realize something about that whole process that I’ve never seen before. I guess this doesn’t make much sense either. Like I said, it’s impossible to explain, but I can tell you that it’s incredibly profound. Like peeling away layers of something that stands between me and true understanding of the universe: every time I peel away a layer, I understand more, and deeper. And every time I do nitrous, I go through the entire process and then peel away one more layer than I’ve ever peeled away before. It’s kind of like this:

Trip 1: Peel away Layer 1.
Trip 2: Peel away Layer 1, then Layer 2.
Trip 3: Peel away Layer 1 and Layer 2, and then Layer 3.

And so on, ad nauseam. (sp) I’ve never peeled the very last layer away, and I don’t think I ever will. Reaching the end isn’t the point, really. The point is that, every time I trip on nitrous, I understand something I never would have had the power to see otherwise, and then I understand all of my other nitrous trips in a new and more meaningful context. Again, it’s not something that can be fully explained. I think this is the best I can do–it’s better than I’ve ever been able to describe nitrous before, actually.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Am I now the Timothy Leary of the SDMB or something? That’s a little cool and a little scary at the same time, I guess. Even I can’t really take Leary seriously, although in a way I get what his ‘message’ was just because I’ve learned things from altered states of consciousness (although, as I’m not Mr. Leary and I haven’t even done LSD (nor do I plan to, any time soon anyway) I’m aware that I can’t really understand it fully).

I should note that anybody who seriously advocates the use of drugs (and here I include ‘legitimate’ medical uses) as a way to save the world or save our souls, scares me.

Good post, thanks for the input.

When I was 10 or so, I went hiking down a fast-flowing stream with a camp group. I was wearing a bracelet my father had made and given me. It was a strip of flexible metal (bent to fit the wrist) wrapped with that plastic lacing stuff in a checkerboard pattern with my initials. I loved that bracelet. Nonetheless, I decided to see if it would float. It didn’t, and it was swept away by the current before I could retrieve it.

LESSON: Think before acting. Don’t gamble what you don’t want to lose. Losing that bracelet has probably kept me from doing a lot of stupid things in the subsequent years.