First of all, Happy New Year.
It’s really cold here. It’s winter. The truth is it’s raining outside and the central aircond just won’t stop blowing cold air inside the building. My hands shaking as my fingers struggle to type. My breath getting thick and my brain freezes. What should I write? What should I write!?
Explanation! The word explanation suddenly pop up in my mind. So I come out with “The Art of Explaining”.
Explanation is a really crucial detail in our daily life. It happens since we were born. Explanation occur everyday. It comes from the need to know how thing works and indeed the need to know everything in our sight. Either we who offer the explanation or we who listen to it.
I love explaining things to other people. However I have this tendency to confuse the “explanee” much more rather than to make things clear. I love to offer some analogy but sometimes the analogy come out to be harder to understand that the actual thing. Example, to explain how pencil works I start to explain the quantum theory. It’s just an example nothing is as such.
As far as my school days are concerned, I had the reputation of both made other understand as well as made them confuse. Sometime or most of the time I myself start to get confuse after trying to explain something. In rare occasion I will make the “explainee” interested in what I am explaining and start to ask even more.
Thus, I begin to be best friend with any dictionary near me. I realize that my failure to explain was due to lack of words to begin with. Bombastic words or jargons are practically useless in daily life. So, there is a great urgency to understand them and translate them in smaller fragments of simpler words. Especially when I try to explain chemistry to none chemistry background. It is almost impossible.
Sometimes jargon made you sound clever and brilliant. I often listen to shampoo or powdered milk adverts in television using weird unheard chemistry jargon to impress viewer. I kinda irritate because they sounds great but empty or actually just an ordinary stuff.(I guess so.I disclaim this accusation, sorry) Some of them are just a good commercial name that just fit in our ears.
I always dream to be a teacher, maybe not for the rest of my life but just for a while. Because teacher’s main and utmost important job is to explain(pull stop). Good teacher explains clearly and vice versa. Then come the side works that usually occupy 90 percent of their daily job. Ironic!
Sometimes I try to escape explaining things, sometimes I just don’t know how to explain. Sometimes I work with metaphor and proverb. Easier to imagine but harder to understand provided bad proficiency of certain language. It’s like sarcasm, works only to some with enough imagination. Usually sarcasm is culture-language bonded. One cannot make Malaysian sarcasm good enough using American English. Only for the damn good creative.
Is it enough of explaining the explanation? Recursive isn’t it? The explanation is using itself to explain itself. Its like a Mobius Strip (Example of me explaining something simple with something harder).
Explaining is a skill, it’s an art. Like a painting, it can be recognizable portrait and it can be an inconceivable abstract. It might attract people with vibrant colors and it might hypnotize people with repetitious pattern. And… some people just don’t like them, hate them, despise them because they think they are smart enough.
Lastly, this is a common Malay motivational quote “Pelajar rajin mencari jalan, Pelajar malas mencari alasan”(correct me if I’m wrong) which means diligent student finds way but lazy student finds explanation. I guess not. Lazy person won’t do anything even to find explanation. Besides a very good brilliant fabulous gigantic meticulous names in scientific world always each second find “alasan” to everything.
Good Luck in explaining in New Year.