I have take up competitive Bridge (a card game) again after a hiatus of twenty years. I am playing against some of the same people I played with in the early 1990’s. Here’s what I know: I will never catch up. My opponents have spent twenty more years refining their systems, improving their logic, and honing their table feel. No matter how talented I am and I am not, that experience is irreplaceable.
I want to tell my students – but I don’t since I have a rule against needless pontificating – that missing classes, texting in class, zoning out, etc. is losing valuable learning experience which by the way they paid for. They won’t get those hours back. We are the sum of our experiences, so stay in the present and pay close attention.