As a group of us sat in my conservatory looking at garden birds the other day the conversation came round to how to tell a dunnock (hedge sparrow) from a house sparrow. I (because sadly I know this) explained the slightly greyer neck and head colouring. I pointed out the behavioural differences that led dunnocks to ground feed and house sparrows to prefer the hanging feeders. It's a bit complex because house sparrows will ground feed but dunnocks will not go on bird feeders full of nuts or seeds in any circumstances.
I pointed out a few examples. My friend said, 'I'll never forget that.'
If you like learning by show and tell you do tend to retain things taught that way rather well. Next time you see a dunnock you can replay the lesson, as it were, as an internal DVD and make the distinction.
It works for me too. Whist I enjoy the general raising of knowledge you get from lectures or books, when it comes to learning a new technique I need the demonstration, one-to-one. I am not particularly a technophobe but don't find it easy to teach myself new devices and software from manuals. On-screen tutorials are a little better. YouTube is currently raising my game in blues piano playing several fold.
My greatest advances in computer knowledge were made 1992-1997 at the hands of the wonderful Kelvin and Pete, two techies with a great bedside manner. The things they showed me I learned. Kelvin's particular skill was never to touch the mouse of his pupil. Everything that needed to be done you had to do yourself. He was very patient.
I am quite proud and smug when I manage to, for instance, load my digital camera pictures on to the computer. It took me a while to read the manual, load some software and then learn to use it.
But if someone had shown me. Ah well. The peril of working home alone.