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I find myself in the opposite position, because math always came very easily to me, and yet I've had a lot of success tutoring it. I think, though, that that largely comes out of my interest in why it worked rather than how, and my ability to make connections that weren't explained to me.

That's precisely what I'm trying to avoid with that particular area of anti-curiosity! Do you know how much time I'd spend on something like that if I started?

Too much anti-curiosity can easily lead to too much comfort, which is why I suggest periodic uncomfortable examination of areas of anti-curiosity.

Yes, if I have emailed someone and typed their name, I will remember it. My problem is that generally I have no reason or means to write the names I'm having trouble remembering.

I'm pretty sure you'd put me in your 'quick to react' category. I'm the person who remains calm in stressful situations and figures out what to do. I don't think it's a matter of shutting off my internal monologue (my internal monologue never shuts off) but of redirecting it. I tend to be fairly good at thinking about what I want to be thinking about. Useful in a crisis, really bad when I'm procrastinating.

I also tend to be really good at connecting and remembering information, and at taking tests, though, so I'm not sure that the skills are in opposition. I suspect that thinking on your feet and being able to retain and synthesize information are separate skills, but much more effective when put together.

I disagree about people being born "good public speakers." I have no stress symptoms when I speak in front of groups of people. I find it quite comfortable. I have experienced an occasional butterfly if I'm going to be on a stage with lights and everything, but that's more anticipation than anything else. I do get a bit of stage fright singing in front of other people, but that's more a matter of extensive early criticism of my singing than difficulty making a fool of myself in front of a group.

Principles for growing long hair:

  • It takes a long time. I've been growing mine for fourteen years, and it was at least seven before it was long enough to be at all remarkable. Growth rates vary, and mine isn't all that fast (4-5 inches a year), but it may be a long time. Don't get fed up and chop it all off.
  • Stop doing damaging things. No more blow-drying or coloring or straightening or curling. Minimize the amount of product you put in. Never tease your hair.
  • Get trims. A half inch trim every three months or so will take off the split ends and make your hair healthier.
  • Conditioner is your friend. Use it liberally. As your hair gets longer, less of it will have any exposure to scalp oils. Be sure to condition all of your hair, not just the ends. I always brush my hair with the conditioner in it before I rinse. This makes sure the conditioner is evenly distributed and there are no tangles.
  • Braid your hair before sleep to prevent tangles, and brush gently. Work knots out patiently, don't just tear through them.
  • Don't wash your hair every day. Every other day is plenty for hygiene purposes, and more often is hard on your hair.
  • Once your hair is too long to brush in a single stroke, pull it back in a bunch like a ponytail, and then pull it over your shoulder. Brush from the bottom up. *Bear in mind that not all people can grow their hair really long. Every hair follicle has a cycle, which is why your eyebrows don't grow down to your chin. The length a hair from a particular follicle can reach is the duration of the cycle times the rate of growth. These factors vary from person to person, and can also vary within a person's lifetime. If your hair gets to a certain length and the ends get really straggly even though you're taking good care of it, it may have reached its limit.

These principles should work for varied hair types, and should allow you to get your hair long. Hopefully, by the time it's really long, you'll be used to it and won't do anything stupid, like the time I did a backbend, adjusted my feet, and then tried to stand up without realizing I was standing on my hair.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I first consciously noticed that I was incapable of using other people's names to their faces. I could do it with immediate family, and I could do it in third person "Howard was telling me..." I have since made strenuous efforts to get better at it, but it is still really psychologically difficult. That's also when I realized that it was almost impossible for me to leave a message on an answering machine. I'm working on that one too, but doing so is a serious effort. One of my roommates my freshman year of college had the same issues, but neither of us had a clue why.

Having people spell their names does sometimes help, but also tends to be a bit awkward. I occasionally wish everyone would just get their names tattooed on their foreheads!

They just gave it to me after I'd been there once or twice, but I suspect that if you pointed out that you just want a straight line and asked nicely, they might give it to you. If that is what you want, and have a friend or relative you trust to cut a straight line, it is also one of the few hairstyles that can be trusted to a nonprofessional. Just make sure you get a pair of good sewing scissors first.

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