My childhood was practically narrated by The Muppet Show, Bill Cosby comedy tapes, and WRKP in Cincinnati. One of my favorite bits, and one my dad repeatedly pointed out to me, was this short scene where Venus Flytrap gives a young ne’er do well a lesson in physics:
But the important part of the lesson isn’t the actual knowledge of basic atomic structure. The real lesson here is that professional teachers and instructors are being paid to impart their knowledge to you. If you’re not getting it, it’s their job to make sure you get it. If you put down your money for firearms instruction and find yourself falling behind or not grokking something, it is your right and responsibility to ask the instructor for help, because that’s his job! If you aren’t keeping up, you’re not going to magically pick it up later by osmosis, the longer you go without asking for help, the further you’re going to fall behind.
Don’t be worried about holding the class up. A competent instructor should be able to cope with a request and keep the class moving at the same time. A very good instructor will be able to not only help you out, but make it a teachable moment for the rest of the class. Also consider that odds are, you’re not the only one with that problem, and even more probably, aren’t the only one who could benefit from another take on that material. And if the instructors just aren’t doing a good job of presenting that material, or if another approach would work better, they need to know!
This isn’t an invitation to get comfy on the short bus. Weekend firearms classes are typically fast paced and people tend to learn better when pushed past their comfort zone into the fail. But if you’re not absorbing the material, you’re probably not the only one, and you’re definitely not doing anybody any favors by fumbling along in silence.