Monday, November 12, 2012

Learn from Familiar Environments; Challenge Yourself with the Unfamiliar

I've recently had the good fortune of moving to a new house and with that comes the benefit of being able to navigate an environment that is not particularly familiar.  The more we become familiar with one certain environment, the less practice we get using actual active echolocation.  For instance, we may use clues to help us navigate, such as "the void" I know to be the 15 foot long hallway, or "the chair" I have to navigate around.  Once we place ourselves into a foreign environment, it becomes much more critical that we actually concentrate and utilize precise active echolocation.  This is a good thing because it forces us to get better.

Instead of saying to yourself, "oh yes, and there's the table.. and if I go this way I can go around it safely..." you're forced to ask, "...and what is this object here?  ...and how can I go around it?"  In this case, your mind will really be required to focus in and you might try clicking at different angles or moving from one side to the other to get a different vantage point.  You might even crouch down to check the height of the object (avoiding the urge to reach out and touch it).  All of these exercises are critical learning methods for improving your skill.

In other instances, you might say to youself, "OUCH!  That really hurt... what the heck was that?"  In which case, that's not always a bad thing either.  In instances of pain, since we are human beings we will try to avoid repeating that same scenario at another time, and one natural way of doing that is to take inventory of the situation and say to yourself.. "Why did that happen?  What did I miss?"  At which time it would be a good idea to take a step back and evaluate the current environment as in the paragraph above and try to determine the reason your echolocation did not show you that particular object.  If it was something at waist level, then that might indicate that you need more practice with "Up vs. Down Training".  If the object was a thin object like a lamp post or pole, consider isolating that type of object and challenging the limits of your echolocation in order to improve your capabilities with such object shapes.

The moral of this post is, always challenge yourself.  Now, is training in your own home cheating?  I would say no.  But if you become complacent in a particular environment, you are inherently not challenging yourself as much as you could be, do some exploring!!

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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