don't need no education

So here's the skinny: I'm a bit wrecked. Good wrecked. The kind of bewildered exhaustion bestowed upon one after three full days and nights of partying without regard to health, reason, or the socially acceptable time of day to begin building a wizard staff.* My voice is gone, my immune system is right behind it, and I'm sitting here with spotty memories and bruises of unknown origins, not exactly being what parents would call a role-model.

But hey...it is what it is. Clearly you're not the judging type. That's why we get along.

While at the cabin yesterday, we played a game called Wits & Wagers. Fun concept: trivia questions are read, you write down your best guess, and then you can bet on the spread of answers to gain points. Fairly simple.

Fairly simple except that one by one we became mortified at our fundamental lack of basic education. Twelve friends playing this game, fourteen diplomas between us, and we had people guessing that the world's largest pearl weighed in at 70 pounds. For the record, it was seven. Seven pounds. Fun fact to know and share.

We guessed thousands of feet short when assessing waterfalls. We were hundreds of years off when recalling historical events. One by one we would mock a competitor for not knowing when Hawaii became a state, and then feel karma's open-palmed slap on the ass when everyone now knew you honestly believed it would cost $3 million to open a Subway franchise.

We're not dumb, any of us. We all have above-average educations, fledgling careers, good upbringings; pedigrees worthy of at least face time on Jeopardy. But the humble pie was served family-style as we sat dumbfounded, silently wondering how we each could know so much and yet so little at the same time.

To be fair, there's of course an argument to be made about quality versus quantity when it comes to smarts; I do not know which king beheaded which wife, but I do know you wear a green-tinted moisturizer to neutralize a reddened face.

Knowledge is really just mental priorities.

What I took from this ego-bruising game was more or less my resolution for the year. I might muster up an actual list tomorrow, but for now my larger mantra is this:

Keep Learning.

I'll of course attempt to mold this onto other desires for 2010 - learn how to eat smaller portions, learn the actual grammatical rule regarding "who" versus "that" - but more importantly I want to remember how little I actually know. This is not self-deprecation. I can be downright intelligent when push comes to shove. It's the larger essence of learning, to think beyond what I know, or what I don't know, and look for more either way. Learn moderation. Learn patience. Learn to write every day, learn time management, and learn to live by Ecclesiastes 3:1 if you're down with me folding an unexpected biblical reference into the mix.

I'm thinking within the next week I'll need to be putting some resolutions down for accountability purposes, but for now I'm sitting here alone on the couch, generic sport drink in hand, quite pleased with the thought-fodder that comes from a much-needed vacation, and feeling genuinely excited about the promise of the future.

Happy New Year -


*wizard staff = duct taping your empty beer cans together end-to-end to form a lengthy wand of awesomeness. Best started before noon. Comparing staff length is encouraged.

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