My parents can vouch for the fact that as a child i was a quick learner (learning ability gradually declined though). They didnt have any problem in teaching me the first 3 alphabets. In my brother's case it was quite different. Cat (my brother) was an extremely lazy child (thereafter he improved exponentially). Since i can't compare myself to him today, i will stick to the good old days when i was the "padhaku bachcha" and he was the "shaitaan bachcha".
I remember, one of those days when he had just started going to school, my father was sitting with him and trying to make him write "A-B-C" on a slate. First my father drew a big 'A' and asked him to try to copy it. Cat instead of drawing 'A' or anything near to it, just scribbled and said, "This is 'A'". I think this went on for another 10 times (cat was bold enough to try my father's patience). Abbu had already had enough of nonsense. He lifted my brother and placed him in the loft (an attic). I saw Cat bawling and shrieking. I had no idea what abbu will do next. I knew it was Cat who asked for the trouble and he deserved it (i was quite mean). After a few moments Cat was brought down and the first thing he did was complete recitation starting from A and ending at Z. :-)
Cat was taught addition and subtraction by substituting '5 pencils' with '5 chocolates'. Both Ammi and Abbu took extra pains in order to make him understand things. I missed that kind of attention and sometimes even felt jealous. In retrospect i feel that every child should be taught the way he/she understands best. The role a parent or a teacher plays has a lot of responsibilities.
Now, why did i write about all this? Or what prompted me to write this post?
Today we had a special colloquium by one of the group leaders in biology. She has recently published a report in a leading journal. She presented her work in a very simplistic manner so that the physicists and mathematicians could appreciate it. And she succeeded in doing so. I enjoyed the talk a lot.
Doing 'science' is one thing and communicating it to a varied audience is a another. One is incomplete without the other.