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    Re: Personal Experiences Learning CelNav?
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2007 Sep 17, 15:51 -0700

    Greg:
    
    It's good for an instructor to remember what it was like "the first
    time" for him or her.  But it's also important to assess the skills and
    knowledge of his/her students and not just assume everyone is like oneself.
    
    As I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm an engineer by education.   I
    have lived in areas dominated by a high-tech environment (formerly
    Boston, now Silicon Valley).  I frequently teach coastal navigation
    classes.   It's interesting to teach navigation in currents.  The
    engineers take one look and say "basic vector mathematics, let's move
    on," while the non-techie's eyes glaze over.   It's a challenge to keep
    the engineers engaged while making sure the non-techies get it.
    
    There's no "universal" student.  I've been teaching basic coastal
    navigation for over 20 years and I've never had students have too much
    of a problem understanding how to measure a course using the standard
    rectangular course plotter (the kind where you set the edge along the
    desired course and move a bullseye against a meridian or parallel and
    measure the course direction).  Never had a problem until the last time,
    when I had a couple of students that just didn't get this basic skill.
    Took a lot of extra tutoring to help them understand.  Why were they
    different?  Not sure (one even worked in high-tech as a technician).
    But part of being a good instructor is to sense when students are
    struggling (and likewise encourage them to tell you when they're having
    difficulty).
    
    In fact, I like the challenge of explaining things.  As I mentioned in
    my earlier post, I think celestial seems daunting just because of its
    arcane terminology (like visiting your doctor and being told you have a
    "subcutaneous hemorrhage" instead of a black-and-blue mark).  My
    challenge for the moment (which I think I've mastered) is explaining the
    Coriolis force to a non-techie.
    
    Lu Abel
    
    Greg R. wrote:
    > --- Peter Fogg  wrote:
    >
    >
    >>You make it sound like a destination you've arrived at, Greg, rather
    >>than an on-going expedition?
    >
    >
    > Actually, that wasn't my intent... though I suppose one could argue
    > that arriving at a point where one was reasonably comfortable with the
    > basic CelNav skills could be considered a "destination".
    >
    > Main reason for asking the question of the group is that I might be in
    > a position to teach a class on the subject down the road, and just
    > wanted to find out if my own experience was anywhere near "typical".
    >
    > --
    > GregR
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >>On 9/18/07, Greg R.  wrote:
    >>
    >>> I'm curious to know what your own individual experiences were
    >>
    >>while
    >>
    >>>learning how to do CelNav - was it fairly easy to master,
    >>
    >>challenging (but
    >>
    >>>eventually it made sense and you caught on), difficult the entire
    >>
    >>way, or
    >>
    >>>what exactly?
    >>>
    >>>For myself, working my way through all the theory and practice the
    >>
    >>first
    >>
    >>>time I felt like my head was going to explode several times - but
    >>
    >>eventually
    >>
    >>>the little "Aha!" light bulb came on and it all magically fell into
    >>
    >>place.
    >>
    >>>Was that experience pretty much typical of the rest of the people
    >>
    >>on the
    >>
    >>>list?
    >>>
    >>>--
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>GregR
    >>>
    >>>
    >
    >
    >
    > >
    >
    
    
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