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I used the Shipping Forecast as a "self-assessment" when I move to London. When moved there, my English was not the best. I was staying up late at nights, listening BBC4 to improve my listening and I will listen to the shipping forecast every night and don't understand ANYTHING.

That was for the first year, life moves on, and there I was, listening to the Shipping Forecast 3-4 years later. "Ey, I can get now some words and the overall meaning!". I have to say it felt good.

A few more years later, and it was my last night living in the UK (Brexit means Brexit), and I went to listen to it again. Seven years later, since the first time I hear it, I was able to catch everything on the forecast.

For me, the Shipping Forecast will always be something special.




Related in theme but off-topic: When I started med school in 1970, I was all full of myself as a doctor-to-be so I took advantage of the very cheap student rate and subscribed to the New England Journal of Medicine. The first issue arrived: Yikes! I didn't understand a word of it. Fast forward to 1974 when I graduated: reading and understanding the NEJM was effortless, as easy as Sports Illustrated.


That's my favorite part of learning anything. No matter what I pick up, initially the lingo makes no sense. Then over time, words and phrases get associated with meanings and my mental map of the subject gets rid of 'Here Be Dragons'. Felt the same about Computer Science, Accounting, ERP systems, kayaking, AI, Cricut, and cockatiels. No matter what the field, nothing makes sense initially. "Birds clean their crop? What?"

Now I am at the same place of confusion with Go (the game). The more things don't make sense, the more excited I am. From experience, I know most people dread this feeling of not-knowing. But it is my favorite place to be because I know at the end of it, I will have learned something.


I'm a medical student, and I had my wowsers moment when I attended a conference a bit over a year ago and realised that, unlike the previous conference I had attended, I suddenly knew what everybody was on about! The acronyms, shorthands, etc - it really is another language!


In the same vein (no pun intended): when I began my anesthesiology residency, I received a free subscription to the journal Anesthesiology as part of my resident membership in the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The first issue came: frightening! As had been the case years earlier with the NEJM when I started med school, I couldn't understand anything. The table of contents might just as well have been written in Urdu. Flash forward a year: my first scientific publication (a Letter to the Editor) appeared in Anesthesia and Analgesia. Nothing like a little fear to accelerate the learning curve!




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