Thanks for the rather long reply Darby. I would like to first of all point out I'm not calling into question your methods but rather I am interested in how you use those methods successfully. As you point out, they have been pretty successful for you.
If I can take the liberty to summarize what you do;
- First you memorize and become familiar with the vocabulary of a subject, you learn where that vocabulary is used so that you can understand what the terms mean
- Next you read the subject matter (books) and use that to apply what you've learned to practical situations you are in, that way you learn how to apply the vocabulary of the subject
- Last you do exercises to verify the fluency you have in the subject matter?
Am I understanding correctly?