What I Can’t Talk About

I honestly couldn’t explain probably half of the information I know.  Or have any type of conversation where I could accurately elaborate on some of that information.  Such as…

Roosters “crow.”  You know….cock-a-doodle-do.  But why do roosters do that?  I seriously have no idea.  I guess that’s a small, minor piece of information that I don’t know, and I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of rooster conversations, so I guess it’s not crucial.  Maybe that’s a bad example.

Bacteria.  I know it exists and sometimes it’s bad.  And apparently there are bad bacteria, but also good bacteria.  And my fish tank needs both so the fish can stay healthy.  It causes infections when you cut yourself.  That’s pretty much where my knowledge about bacteria ends.  I could probably repeat enough words and nod my head enough to get through a 3 minute conversation about bacteria, but I would have to say that’s as far as I could get before the person I was talking to figured out that I’ve reached my limit of bacteria knowledge.  (By the way, that’s how you get through conversations you don’t want to listen to)

Ex. 1
Mary – “Jenna just bought this Gucci bag that I really wanted and it totally looked crappy with her outfit today.”

Any Male Not Interested In Designer Bags – “O yea, that Gucci bag.”

Mary – “She acts like she’s so cool when she buys stuff like that and shows it off to everyone.  I hate it when she does that.”

A.M.N.I.I.D.B – “yea she does that.”

Add in a couple head nods to confirm the speaker, and next thing you know you made it through that horrible conversation about bags.  But I digress….

A lot of General Education that I learned in school was very limited for me.  I usually didn’t want to be in the class, and the only reason I learned the material is because I wanted to get a good grade, so I only allowed myself to receive a certain amount of information.  One, because I chose to only remember a certain amount, and two because I didn’t ask about more information.  You will only learn as much as the teacher gives you in these classes, and because there’s so much information and limited time, most topics get skimmed.  These classes include (but are not limited to) English, Economics, Math, History, Art, etc.  Since I didn’t push myself to really learn the material, it was stored in “short term memory.”  There, it would be stored for anywhere between 3 hours to 5 days (just enough to pass a test), and then messily archived only to be recalled when someone mentioned a name or keyword that unlocks the vault.  Even then, all I can do is repeat the word and nod my head.

After coming to this sad realization that I probably spent a lot of money on the first 2 years of college for things I won’t remember, 2 things come to mind.

1.  Don’t Regret Paying For College.
No matter how much you did pay, you can’t take back the money or the experience.  The money is gone.  It’s not like you can ask the college for your money back because you weren’t very happy with your education.  And ultimately, the education is only half of what you’re paying for.  You’re also paying for the experience.  You can’t replace a college experience with anything else.  Never again will you be in a place that you can establish friendships and connections like you can in college.

2.  Don’t Question Things About Things You Read Or Hear.
I say this because many people don’t.  I think there are 4 things you can do when you hear new information:

a). You don’t understand, but you’re too embarrassed to ask.
If a teacher says something in class and you don’t understand it, are you going to be “that guy” that raises your hand and asks all those stupid questions that makes class go twice as long?  Absolutely not.  You don’t want to be “that guy.”  So you sit quietly in a lecture that you don’t understand or just don’t care to understand.

b). You don’t pay attention because it’s not interesting to you.
This one is pretty easy.  I don’t feel like I have to go into much detail about this one.  If it’s not interesting, chances are, you’re not going to give your full attention to it.  You’ll remember what you have to, but not as much as you could because it’s home-ec, and seriously I just think when am I going to need to cook tiramisu. Am I going to be a chef? No.  (Superbad)

c) You ask questions about it and learn more about the subject.
Maybe because you’re interested, or maybe because you know it’ll be better if you learn more about it there.  There are many different reasons to ask more about topics and pretty much everyone knows how to acquire more information.  But what I really want to get to is this…

d) You merely accept the information that is fed to you.
You don’t question it, you don’t ask more about it.  It is what it is because someone who knows more about the subject is telling you that’s how it is.  If a professor told me the world was flat, then that’s what I’d believe because he is older and wearing a blazer and has glasses that he also calls spectacles, which is the same thing as glasses, only a different, more professional sounding word.  Why do people use big words when they can use common words to describe the same thing?  I guess an large vocabulary never hurt anyone.  But I digest….

As a little kid, if someone told me that the world was flat, then I’d believe them.  I wouldn’t question it, because my backyard was flat, and everywhere my mom takes me in the car is flat, so why would it not be?  We never question it because I don’t have the means to explore it otherwise.  I don’t know how people figured out the world was round (again, something I couldn’t have a conversation about), and I certainly can’t look at it from outer space.  My knowledge will be limited to what the teacher decides to tell me at that present moment.  If you act like an expert on a certain topic and speak confidently about it, people will believe you.  If I was teaching a 2nd grade class and I told all those little kids that every time you cut your hair, you lose 20 days of your life, then they might believe me because there is no way to disprove my information at that time.  They don’t know any better and they can’t find out.  Even if they go home and tell their parents the information and have the parents correct them, how often do you think they would respond with the answer, “Well, Mr. Teacher told me it was true and he’s a teacher.”  At that point, they have deemed me an expert on a number of topics, including the ratio of haircuts to time you have left to live.

We believe some of the information we know because of either blind faith or laziness.  If you don’t care to investigate it, then you’re just accepting it for what it is.  I have to accept some things in faith because there’s only so much I could know about the subject.  I have never seen Socrates, but by faith, I believe that he exists because the writings about him.  I’ve never been to Australia but I believe that it exists because I’ve seen pictures.

So the point of this rant ultimately is probably more beneficial to me than it is to anyone else.  Just be careful who you consider an expert and if it’s something new, ask questions to learn more about it and research it.  It might be helpful to see if what you know is actually true.

Here’s some food for thought for anyone who actually gets this far into this.

Thanks for reading

– The College Grad


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