songs phonetically. I was a three-year-old singing the alphabet song, who
thought “elemeno” was a letter.
There is no way I’d be able to pick up
the four-sided or five-sided cube and
apply what I’d learned. Civilization was
still marching on without me.
Was memorizing a set of compli-
cated instructions even learning? The
next time I would ponder this ques-
tion, and feel comparably fraudulent,
was when I began teaching myself to
If you asked me what I’ve been up to
in my free time recently, I’d say swimming and teaching myself how to code.
I learned how to swim at Girl Scout
camp, and liked it. I got good enough
that I joined a swim team. I liked it
enough to get a summer job teaching
swim lessons as a teenager. I liked
teaching the backstroke enough that
of person who could solve a Rubik’s
I could do it. I solved it a few more
times without looking at the booklet.
It didn’t feel great, though. All I had re-
ally done was read and then memorize
I was a kid learning “Chopsticks”
before I knew the notes on the piano
keyboard. I was young French-speak-
ing Celine Dion recording English pop P h