- pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it
- pretend to teach your topic to a classroom*
- go back to the books when you get stuck**
- simplify and use analogies
Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t.
Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553).
*Pretend, hell! Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it. Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture. Or two. With a supporting homework assignment. And quiz or exam questions.
**There are gurus out there, go talk to them. I’m lucky to work at a university, where many are right down the hall. I have yet to meet an expert unwilling to speak about his area of expertise. Often at great, nay overwhelming, length.