Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yay, Knowledge!

I love the internet. I do. I love how it is a veritable wealth of information. I think I could spend the rest of my days sitting in front of the computer and never get bored.

At one point in my youth I was very against anything that was new and cool, and I was also a little afraid of change, so I vowed that I would never be a computer geek and I would never be interested in having a computer in my house.

Actually, I was pissed off that our parents had given my twin brother and I a "combined" birthday present in the form of a computer. My brother was instantly enthralled, and I was just annoyed that all I could manage to do was program the thing to leave messages that scrolled around the screen (messages like "you suck and so does this computer, fart-head," which my brother would discover the next time he sat down in front of the machine.) Do note, however, that this was before the invention of the world wide web. Had I known how cool THAT was going to be, I wouldn't have been so quick to "p-shhhhaw" computers.

During this time in my life I also dismissed the Beatles, saying they were over-hyped. What a pretentious shit I was!

One thing that hasn't changed since then, however, is how much I love learning. I imagined, both then and now, that my brain was filled up with dark spaces of nothingness, and I pictured new information seeping in through my eyes and ears and filling those voids with little bits of light. I spent a lot of time at the library or reading books or watching TV. And now I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.

I think it's fantastic that any single thought can enter my mind, and I think "Hey, I don't know very much about that subject," and I can just look it up and increase the brightness in my brain. In the last few days, for example, I've looked up eclipses, (go figure) the sun, cacti, Korean recipes, burns, hydrocolloid plasters, ocean sunfish, Goa, and supernovas. Without the computer, I would have been screwed for learning new stuff here. (Ha! Then I suppose I would just learn Korean!)

Anyways, three cheers for the internet!

Today, my co-worker asked me if I knew the poem by Byron about "April is cruel." I thought a moment, and said no. She was overly surprised (Honestly, these women I work with LOVE the idea of showing me up.)
"Oh!! It is so famous poe-ehm in Korea!"

I majored in English in Uni, and took my share of poetry classes. Actually, I quite enjoy a good poe-ehm. Tastes like berries. So I googled it. It totally sounded familiar, but I couldn't recall anything like that by Byron. Ahhhh. Of Course! (One of the lights in my brain, dimmed by time and lack of attention glowed bright enough to catch my attention.) She means T S Elliot:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

~ The Waste Land, 1922.

I was pleased to have figured out what she was talking about, and told her I liked T S Elliot, and had to write an essay or two on him at school. I told her I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, and she said, "What?"

She told me she missed her school days, and I suggested she should take some courses. She could sign up for something interesting just for pleasure. Learnin's fun, don't'cha know?
She thought a moment and said "I am very reality. I don't want do anything that doesn't make money for me."
"But," I protested, "Knowledge is food for the brain. It's good for your soul!"
She furrowed her brow and said, "I don't like knowledge. Knowledge is NOTHING."

I raised my eyebrows and just smiled at her, but in my head I was thinking, "Christ, woman, you're a teacher! If anyone should be on the "YAY KNOWLEDGE!" Pep Squad it should be US!" But, whatever. Go tell your students "Knowledge is nothing," and while you're at it, share with them the other gem you told me a couple days ago, "Money is like blood." That'll get them hyped up to study!



hardyandtiny said...

I wish Google Earth was live and I could kill people.

Rory said...

The internet is not as big as you think. For example, I just did an image search on Google for 'Monkey drinking cola' and got only one hit.

No monkey either.

Jelly said...

Try "Monkey Drinking Soda!"