Have you seen the commercial for Rosetta Stone? I know the software is popular, and I've heard it's effective, but the commercial gets me every time.
An attractive woman strolls casually through an immaculate home that just happens to have the Rosetta Stone package sitting all alone on a lovely glass-topped table, nowhere near a computer. She delivers her lines with a look on her face that tells you she doesn't buy any of your excuses. "Are you one of those people who think you just can't learn a new language? It's not that you can't learn . . . "
Now, tell me, don't you just hear your parents finishing that sentence over and over again, regarding algebra, world history, geography, spelling, chemistry, or whatever subject it was in school that tortured you day in, day out? And they never finished that sentence in a way that made your mental block someone else's fault, did they? It was never the teacher, or the text book, was it? Nope, it was always your fault you couldn't learn That Subject.
Of course, the Attractive Woman Selling Rosetta Stone goes on to assure you that if you just tried this software, you could dance linguistic circles around Dr. Daniel Jackson ("I speak twenty-four languages. Pick one.").
But let's insert some reality, shall we? After all, she's probably somebody's mother. "It's not that you can't learn, it's that you won't learn." If you would just turn off the radio and crack those books . . . If you would shut off the tv and get started, already . . . If you would quit wasting time on the internet and do something productive, for a change . . . If you would just buckle down and apply yourself . . . you would finally master Spanish/French/German/Mandarin/Russian/Japanese/Swahili once and for all.
Hmmm. Then again, I'm the kid that got in trouble for reading in school.