Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hindsight is 20/20

I come from a world that in no way, shape, or form promoted education. As long as I didn't flunk something, that was all that seemed to matter. There was no emphasis on preparing myself for, or getting into, a good college - nada. The parents were gone alot during the high school years so that might have contributed some - probably not a whole lot though because they both seemed to be pretty well entreanched in their own dramas during those years.

I was put into some tutorial classes to try to get a decent SAT score - but it didn't help. As it was so helpfully pointed out to me one Sunday morning after reviewing an article on SAT scores, I, the white kid going to the private school, managed to score lower than the black kids in South Dallas.

In a logical world, I should have been the one with all the breaks - so how did things get so educationally backasswards? There are some factors that must be taken into consideration:

Changing schools rather frequently which affected what I learned. I was literally in the same school district for 7th and 8th grades but attended 2 different schools - Liberty & Forest Meadow. At Liberty, the curriculum was to teach diagraming sentences in 8th. At Forest Meadow, you were supposed to have learned diagraming sentences in 7th. Needless to say, to this day I don't know jack about how a sentence is supposed to be diagramed. The positive side is that I did read Lord of the Flies in 3 different schools so to this day I know more about Super Ego, Ego, Id and Simon the Christ figure than anyone else I know.

In November of 9th grade the only stability in my life died with my grandfather. For the rest of the year, I just didn't care. I merely went through the paces and I must say, to this day, I am still shocked that I passed my math & science classes. I think the instructors just conveniently gave me 70's to move me on along. I think that was the year I was supposed to learn algebra.

Then I went to the private school - I never considered dropping out. I merely took classes at the community college so I could get the hell out of there quicker. I didn't really gell at that school - it was a "religous" place and since I didn't smoke pot or do nitrous I didn't fit in very well with the Bible thumpers.

I had weird grades there -- 108 in literature and 62 in maths. I believe this illustrates which subjects I was better at.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have probably tried like hell to get into the University of Southern California. Why? Because 2 authors whose work I have liked for years are professors there in the creative writing program - T.C. Boyle & Noel Riley Fitch.

I've always found it interesting how both of them can delve so deeply into their subject matter and spin out these great books. Fitch has done fantastic books on Anais Nin & Sylvia Beach. Boyle is renowned for The Road to Wellville and Drop City.

The Illustrious One has always put a high emphasis on education and I respect him for that. He's the only person I've ever known that can keep up with how I think and appreciate my warped sense of humor. He seems to think we are both borderline obsessive/compulsive which accounts for how the mind works.

I can honestly say that I only recall one time where he didn't know how I got from topic A to topic F. He made the comment that a pair of shoes had pinched his feet and I replied with "Peter Murphy has a new album coming out." He kind of looked at me and then asked, "How did you get from pinched feet to Peter Murphy?" I said, "Pinched feet, feet hurt, your feet hurt at the Peter Murphy concert 2 years ago, he has a new album coming out." He replies with, "Gotcha".

With most people, topic A will be discussed and I'll say something about topic F, and the response I get is, "How did F come up?" My usual reply is along the lines of, "Oh my minds' already moved on."

Whereas with The Illustrious One, he can discuss A, I reply with F, he segues to N, and I counter with S and he wraps with Z. It's not recommended thinking for everyone, but it works for us.

So now that I've taken you on the strange winding way my mind thinks (and I'm sure this explains volumes for the roundabout way my posts sometimes take), I do wonder what life would be like if you could take what you know now and apply it to what you didn't know years ago...

No comments: