I recently found a bunch of old flash cards – some dating back to eighth grade! – and realized something truly amazing:
At one point in my lifetime, I knew all this shit!
So where did it go?
If I think hard enough, will I be able to come up with TESTS THAT MUST BE MET TO PROVE LIBEL or how to find the cosine of x?
Part of me says sure, of course, it’s in there somewhere!
The rest of me – most of me – says no fucking way, Einstein.
I realize that this is a matter of repetition and use; while I am by no means fluent in any language other than gibberenglish, I think about Spanish enough that I’m fairly confident I could score at least a 50% if I went through those particular cards. But as I’m not the journalist or newspaper editor I once thought I might be, I could give two fucks about proving libelousness now.* And don’t get me started on this sine-cosine-tangent shit. I’m not 100% sure I even understood that stuff in the first place.
But is this knowledge really erased from my brain? Have those neural pathways atrophied and died? This thought truly frightens the piss out of me. Being (sometimes) smart and knowing (some) shit has been part of my identity for so long that if, God forbid, I sustained some sort of traumatic brain injury… Well, I’d rather not think about it.
As I age and become further and further separated from formal education, I become less and less sure of what I actually know. Is it because my world is continually expanding around me?
And is this actually a good thing?
Yes, though it doesn’t always feel that way.
*See also: using actual words