By The Wiz
“During this test you answered questions which measured your ’spatial skills’. Based on how you scored, we could conclude that your spatial skills are poor or inadequate. This means that you are inept at visualizing objects in your mind’s eye and are not able to rotate figures mentally in any dimension.”
And now, a story:
I first discovered my lack of sewing skills in seventh grade during home ec class. I dutifully learned to thread the machine, I learned how to sew 10 straight lines in a row, and I got very, very good at seam ripping. I was doing fine until we actually had to make an article of clothing - I was to make a pair of sweats. I stared at the pattern like it had come from outer space, and to me, it might as well have. But I dutifully did what I could, because you know what? I was known as one of the smart kids, and I could do anything any silly seventh grade teacher threw at me. Do you see where this is going?
I had to use the serger. I was looking forward to it, I liked machines. However, I hadn’t quite grasped the concept that I was supposed to serge in an “upside down u” sort of way and not in a “straight line” sort of way. It was the crotch seam, I believe. I still can’t really see why, but I know those of you that sew understand perfectly and are laughing really hard right now. Anyhoo, one day I went to the closet to retrieve my sweats and they weren’t there. Why? Oh, because the teacher had taken them and used them for all her other classes to demonstrate “what not to do.” After me, they decided 12 year olds were too young to use the serger anyway. So, if you took sewing home ec in the years following me, I apologize. It’s too bad, really, it seemed like such a cool machine.
And now, more little stories:
I was really good at math, always, until I hit trig and calculus. Until I knew what spatial skills were, I never knew why. I could knock out an algebra problem no sweat, the trickier the better. But throw in some sines and cosines, and ask me to start seeing objects in space, and the teacher may as well have started speaking Greek.
I have been known to get lost coming out of a bathroom in a restaurant and having to wander around aimlessly until I find my table.
As evidenced by above, I have no sense of direction.
Ask me to picture something from a set of blueprints, it’s sooo not going to happen.
Ask me to picture a certain piece of furniture somewhere, or a piece of art, give me the dimensions, and again, not going to happen. Unless the dimensions are 8 1/2 by 11, the exact size of notebook paper, I don’t really know what you’re talking about, but I will nod politely and give a completely uninformed opinion.
At 18, I went to college. I floundered a little in choosing a major, as freshmen are wont to do. So my parents sent me to a place to measure my aptitudes, to see if I could find some direction.
The first test was a test for spatial skills. It did not go well. Lest ye think I am completely and totally clueless, I had other tests that went extremely well, thank you very much. The whole thing was very very interesting. They gave me the results in percentile format, so I could see how I stood with the rest of the population.
Spatial ability: 2%.
You read that right. 98% of the population is better at this than I am. As in EVERYBODY.
A light bulb went off.
“Is this why I walk into door frames?”
“Is THIS why I have no sense of direction?”
“So what does this mean in the whole major/job area?”
“Basically, if you decide to become an architect, you will become suicidal. Also, your buildings will fall down.”
And so I was steered away from anything architectural, and I left suddenly knowing why math got tricky when it wasn’t linear, why I couldn’t parallel park to save my life, and last but not least, why sewing is the seventh circle of hell for me. Seeing clothing in a pattern is virtually impossible. I knew the truth, and the truth had set me free.
Before posting this, I went and took another test for spatial skills, to see if they had improved any. The results were the first paragraph of this post. So, no.
(If you would like to take the same test I took, I went here. You have to enter an email to get your results, I put in the email I give department stores and such, basically there just for spam. If you want the full report, you have to pay money, which I chose not to do, so I can’t give you my official numbered score. I thought about finding another one that wasn’t so “spammy” but as you might have guessed, these tests are not fun for me.)
So unless sewing somehow becomes two dimensional, I really don’t see a way I can ever become good at it. My project will end up backwards, 98% guaranteed.