I struggled in school, especially early on because I had not yet been diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia. Teachers tended to think that I was just playing around and being lazy. Kindergarten through the third grade were dark years for me.
Once my dyslexia was discovered I began getting some of the help that I needed, however it was not until college I really discovered the key to learning for me. I was taken aside when I was struggling with algebra. By the way I know it is important, but I hate algebra. I was doing fine in math, well I was passing my math classes, until algebra. Thanks a lot Babylonians!
I digress. So I was taken aside in college and given a test, the results of which changed my life. It turns out that I am an audio learner. So one of the first things I changed about the way I approached school was that I stopped taking notes altogether and instead just listened. My grades improved and I was better off except for one area.
I became very aware of speech patterns. I swear that I can almost see the rhythm of how people speak. When someone starts a sentence, backs up, goes a different direction and then goes a different way completely I almost need a nap after speaking to them. It’s exhausting.
I also became ultra aware of filler words and it got me into trouble with one of my professors. This particular teacher was very nice and I enjoyed his class up until the moment he forced me to embarrass him. He said, “uh”, constantly and it began to drive me crazy. So to distract myself I started to make a mark on my note pad for every “uh” he uttered to make a game of it. Unbeknownst to me he noticed the marks and decided to call me out in class. “What are these tick marks on your paper,” he said loudly in front of the class. I have had many teacher try to make an example of me as a child and I don’t really care for it so I looked him in the eye, made sure to project my voice and said, “Professor, you have said ‘uh’ 57 times since the start of class and I have been keeping track”. I had never seen murder in anyone's eyes before. It was chilling.
I thought that was as bad as It could get until last week. I was forced to take a webinar where the presenter had an affinity for the word “okay”. Not just okay, but okay with a question mark. “This is the new program, okay? And this how it works, okay?,” I was dying a slow death and so I fell back on my coping mechanism and started making my ticks like a prisoner counting the days so as to not lose track. In half an hour she managed to say the word okay 80 times!
For the remainder of the day I cringed a little every time someone said OK for any reason.