Friday, June 24, 2011

education

My first memory of being absolutely wrong about everything in the world:

I was maybe four of five and had just learned how to add at day care.

Johnny has two apples, Alice has three... No problem.

Never again would I be caught slack jawed, blindly guessing at the total produce in the possession of friends and acquaintances. I had just acquired the gift of certainty.

As my dad was driving me home, I stared out the car window flush with the wondrous realization that I had pretty much learned everything I would ever be taught. Sure, I knew there were some things I'd learn later, like multiplication once I got to fourth grade, but other than that, I had pretty much learned the last thing I really needed in life.

Later that day, in the garage, i was dribbling a basketball since, remember, I'd accomplished all the education I'd ever need, so I deserved a little R & R. But my dad came in and told me I was doing it wrong. I was slapping at the ball with my palm instead of pushing it lightly with my fingers. As I tried it his way, it dawned on me that, perhaps, there really was more to learn past pre-school.

Twenty five years later, I went to grad school because I believed there was more to learn past pre-school and high school and college. And if I learned anything during my MFA, it was how much I still need to learn regardless of what degrees i accumulate. Also, my dribbling is no better than when my dad first taught me. That's probably not gonna get any better, even if I seek a PhD.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! Welcome back! You went to preschool?! La dee da! Was that before or after your childhood equestrian lessons? I look forward to future posts, some of which I hope contain creeping strains of gingerism and stories about how you hate at least one of your roommates. Signed, Not Malex

throughthemirrorofmymind said...

What could there be left to learn after numerous degrees and the experiences you've had in your previous posts? As you go along, and find those new things, please keep us updated.