Knowledge

I realized something tonight. I know some stuff about some fairly obscure subjects. I guess that’s what prompted Jenny’s comment the other week, “You’re my friend who knows stuff.”

It’s not like other people don’t know stuff, it’s just that they seem to ask me when it comes to, say, species of birds or animals, etymology, English literature, or Western Eurpoean history. Okay, I have a degree (or enough courses to count as one) in the last two, but, really, my knowledge comes from looking things up.

My realization came today when one of my work colleagues asked how a person would teach the difference between a vowel and a consonant. I thought for a second and said, that other than repetition of AEIOU (sometimes Y can come later), she could probably get the kid to shout. You can’t shout unless it’s a vowel. She thanked me, and said, “I wanted to ask you, because you’re the expert.”

How did I become the expert? Everyone else at my job is a Primary teacher. They’re the ones who have formal training in teaching people to read. Me? I realized I needed to know more about it than I could remember from teacher training, and I went online, and I went to the library.

What does this say? Do very few people wonder about something and then go and find a way to learn more about it? If not, why not? How can they not be curious? Maybe this is what ‘lifelong learning’ really is. I’m just flipping back in my calendar and I see notes: Werewolves. Beef rib recipe. Starbucks all sizes. Writing for teens. Writing prompts. UC Davis campus. Princeton. Arthropods. All things I wanted to know more about, so looked into them.

Granted, there are giant gaps in my knowledge: Pregnancy. Childbirth. Ethiopian cuisine. Anything beyond gravity, in physics.

But, you know? I’m ok with not being a know-it-all. For now.

Today’s word: Ye poan: Beautiful (poan rhymes with roan, which is the name for a horse whose coat is, in human hair terms, salt-and-pepper) With a bit of an emphasis on the ‘oh-an’.

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