As a kid I hated reading. I even lied and cheated in school to avoid it. A couple years ago, I discovered that I could listen to audiobooks downloaded from the library on my iPod. A whole new world of reading opened up for me. Sometimes, in the middle of a series I was listening to, a book or two would not be available in audio format. So, I would read the in between books to fill in the gaps. I was surprised to find that reading was not the chore I remembered it to be. I actually liked reading!
Even with this insight, I felt embarrassed that I still preferred to listen to books. The stigma of listening to a book is that you aren't actually reading it. Someone has assisted you by reading it to you and so therefore you must be less smart or capable because you can't do it on your own. At least this is how I felt. Often, I would avoid mentioning that I listened to the audiobook version when I would discuss books with others. And I felt like I was fibbing when I said I "read" the book.
In college, I added non-fiction business books to my rotation. After listening to several books, I noticed that I retained much more of the information and concepts from those books than the ones I read for class. I chalked this up to the fact that I almost never finished a non-fiction book, especially my textbooks, but I always finished the audiobooks. After reading (listening to) this book, I finally see the pattern of my learning style. I am a audio learner. This is why lectures intrigued me and book studying perplexed me. No wonder I had to attend every lecture, while some students could skip every class and just read through the chapters the night before the exam and pass.
Better late than never, I wish I would have learned the tools to identify my strengths long before now. But, I am eager to help my future children identify and develop their own strengths so that their relationship with learning is a better experience than mine. The strengths movement is such a common sense approach to education. I really hope it spreads throughout all school systems.