From an email to Elsa, two days after the "whoa, the word sonata actually means specific things?" moment.
Aha! I think I have a way to explain why I was confused on Wednesday. See Dreyfus model of skill acquisition.
Excerpt from Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, emphasis mine.
Consider the expert chef, for instance. Awash in a haze of flour, spices, and a growing pile of soiled pans left for an apprentice to clean, the expert chef may have trouble articulating just how this dish is made... many of their responses are so well practiced that they become preconscious actions... which makes it hard for us to observe and hard for them to articulate.
A novice cook, on the other hand, coming home after a long day at the office is probably not even interested in the subtle nuances of humidity and parsnips... The novice wants to know exactly how long to set the timer on the oven given the weight of the meat, and so on. It’s not that the novice is being pedantic or stupid; it’s just that novices need clear, context-free rules by which they can operate, just as the expert would be rendered ineffective if he were constrained to operate under those same rules.
In terms of music (theory and listening for phrases and emotion and things that aren't "did the right note get hit at the right time", and practicing, in particular), I'm a 1, maybe a 2. You're way, way beyond that.
That's why I tried to describe what you were showing me about harmonic progressions in terms of finite state machines. I was looking for a recipe.