Everything I know in one arbitrary list

16 Aug

I often find myself in the presence of people who know a lot of things. I just sit there, in awe, listening to them say thing after thing that they know. And they’re just conjuring it right out of their own heads. All this knowledge is at the ready. What the latest republican presidential candidate said. (What?! I can barely keep up with the democrats! I’m supposed to follow republicans, too?) What we should be doing to fight poverty at home and why certain things will or won’t work. They don’t just know things about politics and social issues, they know things about all kinds of shit. Celebrities. Fashion. Popular Internet memes. Classic movies. Terrible movies. Classic rock. I don’t get it. How do people absorb these things? I know I should be paying attention, maybe even absorbing a little of it myself, but I just can’t focus when all the while I’m fighting the fear that they are going to figure me out. What if they find out I don’t know anything? This is one of the greatest fears I have.

Today, right now, right here, I’m going to combat that fear by preparing an arsenal of things of things I do know, just so I can have them at the ready in case anyone asks. So, here it is, the sum total of my knowledge to this date in a pretty arbitrary list form:

1. In Calculus, you take the derivative of things and this involves crossing some numbers out and writing numbers that are one less than the original numbers. You also cross out numbers when doing long division and balancing chemistry equations.

2. I can recite at least the first 2/3rds of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (in proper Middle English).

3. If a ref calls off-sides in soccer, it means an offensive player was past the last player of the opposing team’s defense when receiving a ball passed to him or her.

4. David Byrne and I have the same birthday.

5. The filibuster is my favorite political strategy.

6. Vascular plants have a xylem and phloem.

7. White chocolate does not contain any chocolate, only cocoa butter.

8. Hydrangeas change color based on the mineral contents in the soil.

9. A trireme is an ancient battle ship and also one of the only words I remember from Ancient Greek, along with most of the alphabet and the fact that there are 16 endings for any particular word, I think.

10. Emily Dickinson didn’t kill herself.

Yep. That about sums it up.

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