- Thursday, September 02, 2004
UCLA professor of philosophy, Dallas Willard said that Jesus Christ is the most intelligent person who ever lived. And this makes me feel better about not finishing college. I never finished college. I would have finished college, but I didn't have an alarm. My intentions were good when I signed up for that eight o'clock class. Looking back, I realize the only way I would have been able to attend a class that early is if my mother was my roommate. My mother was not one to let me sleep in, forever rapping on my bedroom door, "Get up! You're sleeping your life away. Get out of bed! You hear me? You're sleeping your life away."
"There's no chance of that happening with you around, mother."
My favorite place during college was the library. You could nap there in privacy, but later when people asked what you've been up to you could answer honestly, "I was at the library."
I loved the college library. I love the smell of books. Old paperback books have a very distinct smell to them. It's a great smell. If only we could access information by sniffing books. That would be great. But that would mean people with sinus problems would have a learning disability.
Actually, I hardly ever read a book before my junior year of high school when I picked up a copy of "The Catcher in the Rye," a book I thought fabulous at the time, but has since become the book of choice for lunatics. I went out and read every other book ever written by J.D. Salinger, which turned out to be only four other books. So, he was a great first author for someone who wasn't accustomed to reading much.
When I first started writing, I used to emulate Salinger so my prose was filled with lots of words and phrases like "actually" and "truly" and "incredibly enough, it was at this time in my life, unbeknownst to those who knew me well, that I wrote sentences that, for some reason or the other, contained lots of little asides (actually, what I considered important facts) but never the less, etc."
That was my junior year of high school.
Before that I made fun of people who studied. (I'm a recovering dumb jock, a subject I will save for a later article, but let me suffice it to say, that there comes a point in every high school football player's career when you realize, "I'm probably not going to go pro, so eventually, I'll have to learn how to read.")
My teachers would always say to my mother, "He's not stupid. He's just lazy." How does she know? How does she know I'm not stupid and lazy? Generally, if you're too lazy to read, you're going to be stupid.
How do we acquire knowledge anyway? Books? Teachers? Sesame Street? Really how effective is Sesame Street as a teaching device? I grew up with Sesame Street. Yet, while writing this thought down I had to yell to my wife, "Honey, how do you spell Sesame?"
"Do you promise to love, cherish and be the personal human spell-checker?"
Most people don't like to read, because most people grew up with Sesame Street.
I tried to go back to college a few years ago and apparently the requirements have changed. They told me I had to take this certain math class before I would be accepted. Okay, let me get this straight --- I have three years of college, but I can't get into college. That's like getting a letter in the mail, "Due to a new state law your marriage is no longer valid."
"But we have three years of marriage under our belt."
"Well, if you can't add, what's the point? You'll never get an anniversary straight."
"But you don't understand. I have an alarm now."
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. Proverbs 9:9 NIV
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