Friday, January 11, 2008

Creeping Ignorance

It's been a while since I graduated from college, and I'm starting to feel horribly ignorant.

What happened to all the stuff they made me learn?

The cranial nerves? On Old Olympus Towering Tops A Fin And German Viewed Some Hops. I remember the mnemonic, but not the nerves themselves. Oh, I can figure out most of them: Optic, Olfactory, Oculomotor, Trigimnal (did I spell those last two right?) Vegas, no, that's a city. Vega? That's a car. Vegus, I think that's right. Glossopharyngeal was always my favorite because it's such a fancy word. Like sphygmomanometer, I like the way it rolls off my tongue. (And now I'm feeling tickled with myself because I just made a punny -- though of the folks I hang with, probably only Cicada of Bioephemera fame will get it.)

Geography. Geeze o' pete, seems like countries just keep changing their names and borders. It used to be Burma, now it's Myanmar. All those "stan" countries over in eastern Europe/western Asia confuse the heck out of me. I know where the Gulf of Riga is, but not the Bay of Biscayne (Florida? Spain? Where's my atlas?) And math; I've been through two semesters of calculus, statistics, matrix algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc, etc, etc. How much of it beyond arithmetic do I remember? Not much other than that statistics is a formalized methodology for lying.

I do have excellent grammar, though I couldn't diagram a sentence any more. My spelling's not too terrible. Thanks to my spell checker, I now at least recognize when I've spelled something "creatively."

My head has been stuffed with so much information that little of it seems to be in sharp focus. I know who Piaget was and (kinda) what he did. I could probably pass a multiple guess test on his theory of cognitive development, but I sure couldn't write an essay on it. If you were to quote Shakespeare to me, I could probably identify the play, but I can't recite much more than the first witch's part in Macbeth.

Am I smarter than a fifth grader? I just tried the quiz on Fox's web site and got a million points, but sometimes I sure don't feel like it.

1 comment:

bioephemera said...

I feel the same way when I play trivia and can't remember the president after Buchanan or what country in Asia is bounded by some other countries. . . I always think I'll go review my history or geography or something, but it doesn't happen. Sigh. On the other hand, information does occasionally bubble up out of the old cortex despite not having been used in years. So one would assume school was good for something, besides all the degrees. :)