You're going to have to get a book because there's way more that needs to be explained than I could possibly do justice to in a forum post. If you want to read about the technical side of photography, I strongly recommend getting Way Beyond Monochrome and reading through it, or at least using it as a reference.
Originally Posted by jensenhallstrom
Don't worry about it for now though. Get a stash of relatively fresh film and shoot it normally (box speed, normal development, etc) until you've done a couple tens of rolls. All this sensitometry crap, pushing, pulling, etc can wait. It's just a confusion at this point.