People telling me to taste color and other impossible things

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Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 36
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Location: Ohio, USA

09 Aug 2012, 8:27 pm

OP, what you are is a very logical, concrete thinker, and you're in a world full of people who are artistic, figurative, and poetic. No wonder you're having trouble communicating with them!

If you can, try to think of these things as poetry. You've studied poetry in school, of course; there's a lot of figurative language, a lot of things that aren't literally true, but bring with them the right connotation.

I don't know if you studied connotation in English class, but here's what it is: Other than the exact meaning of a word, there are other concepts that come along with it. Two words can mean the same thing, but bring different concepts along with them.

For example, the words "House" and "Home" both mean "A place for people to live in." But "House" focuses on the structure itself, and "home" focuses on the way a person identifies his dwelling as secure and familiar. That difference is very significant to people who are very imaginative.

When they ask you to taste a color or see a sound, they are trying to get you to use poetry like that. Instead of tasting "blue" in sea water, they want you to think of the taste of sea water and associate it with the blue of the sea, to think of the connections between concepts. Blue is connected to the ocean, and the ocean is connected to the taste of salt water. Every word and concept has connections to every other word and concept; and even when two words mean the same thing, they are often connected to different things.

You might never really get the hang of it, because you are such a concrete thinker, but it might be a good idea for you to observe the behavior of the people you've found yourself interacting with, in order to try to understand them better. Perhaps you can find patterns in the way they think and do things.

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Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Age: 25
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Location: Bristol, UK

10 Aug 2012, 3:38 pm

Callista: I've never directly studied connotation in school, but it is generally implied in much of the literature analysis that I did do. However, I still don't really get how to apply it to tasting colours. To use your example, perhaps I might be able to associate the colour blue with the ocean if a) the ocean was naturally blue instead of simply reflecting the sky and b) if everything blue tasted of salt water.

Ann2011: I would too, except that I get a certificate at the end which can go in my CV and there is only 6 days left.

Janissy: I'm not able to think in metaphors. I think. The only time I've ever been sucsessful in that is when explaining physics to people, and not being able to do that without metaphors (which I don't actually understand). Mostly I just memorise metaphors that other people have used, but occasionally I've been able to come up with my own with much thinking on the subject.

What you say about boundaries is interesting, and probably applies to most people. However, I really don't think it applies to me. I am quite a good actor, and have been told so by enough people to believe it, and yet I clearly am not capable of what you describe. I'm not considering acting as a career for other reasons.

The problem is not just taking the teacher literally, but really not understanding what I'm supposed to do. But perhaps I should just ignore the instructions under the assumption she wouldn't be able to explain it to me anyway.

I had another argument with her today, and she seems to have simply decided she hates me for attempting to inject logic into her insanity. She made me repeat what I said to her 12 times while sounding angry for no discernable reason.