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I remember in grade school my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I blurted “A bachelor!”. Goodness knows where that came from. The teacher smiled and said while that was a good thing for some men to become, but it wouldn’t earn a living. I was to try again.

“A Mentant’. This blurt caused my teacher to pause and go look it up and tell me I had better stick with being a bachelor.**

I’ve managed the ‘bachelor’ but I haven’t achieved mentant-hood. I remain an avid learner.  I am a great fan of educational Youtube videos. I put them on as background music as I do chores.  I have nearly a dozen ‘subscriptions” on topics of chemistry, biology, history, and general fun-facts.

Some of my favorites: Vsauce, Mental Floss, Veritasium, Crash Course, and 1 minute physics.

Unfortunately my appetence for knowledge isn’t readily received. Someone is polite but not too keen on having  “Project Runway” interrupted to hear me reiterate The History of beer, or for me to explain the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England, or (better still) tell him the body has fifty types of sphincters.

Throwing out tid-bits of trivia at parties is also not greatly appreciated.  I must bore the pants off  of others if they should inadvertently cue me to spew about The British monarchy or the elements of the immune system. One of the troubles of the love of learning is the rather false assumption everyone else is equally interested  in increasing their knowledge base.  As Woody Allen said in “Manhattan”  he could not recite the moons of Jupiter and he didn’t have to as they never come up in cocktail conversations.

Alas, my ever swelling head full of fun facts is good for little but the quiet satisfaction I am trying to better myself and not to be so bleeding ignorant. After all, one of my nicknames is “Dr. Smartypants from reading a lot of books”.

** Apparently some wicked fairy was listening in on this blunder; she waved her magic wand and said “And so you shall!” The rest is history.

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December 2013

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