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I found Professor Rose's interview to be very interesting because in my own life I moved from a "blue collar" career as an automotive machinist to a software engineer and now I also do some contracting work applying high performance coatings.

As a child I did very poorly in school. I don't know if they failed me or if I simply failed them. But I had no interest in what I was being taught, though I was an advanced reader. A decade and a half later some friends encouraged me to attend community college when I demonstrated my self taught computer programming skills. While somewhat intimidated because of my previous experiences I worked hard and graduated with high honors. But my self examination has convinced me that while I'm pretty intelligent (the Mensa tests put me within striking distance of becoming a member) for some reason I have a hard time with standard academic approaches to learning. I'm very poor at memorizing.

What works well for me is to attack a problem until I have an in-depth understanding of it and can make sense of how the various pieces fit together and interact. Perhaps this comes from years of working with mechanical things. But perhaps surprisingly this approach to problem solving has worked pretty well for me as a software engineer where we have lots of small pieces that can be decomposed right down to the machine level but are fit together like tinker-toys to create great intellectual edifices. Ultimately though it could be argued that this mental approach is more of "hand based" than "book bases." I've always thought that to be interesting.

The down side to all this is that many of the things I'm curious about would really be easier to understand if I were better at memorization.

Anyhow, I enjoyed the interview and intend to spent some time reading Mike Rose's blog.

Eric Marsh