Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coprolites, Middens, and Debitage

Ah, getting an education. Nothing really can puff some one's ego to the point of peacocking like learning. I know I love learning. I think learning is quite beautiful. The more I know about the world around me the more I want to know. The more questions I have. It's a sick cycle, like cocaine, but I get to keep my nose. Noses are great.

The problem, one that I see, is that once one starts to learn a dangerous thing happens: said pupil realizes that others they know do not know what has just been learned. Let the false flaunting begin!

Everyone knows someone who's like this, and everyone has been like this. For example, someone sees the new Avengers movie and suddenly is an expert on Thor and Loki's relationship, proudly flaunting that Thor and Loki are ACTUALLY from Norse mythology. As this person's victim you sit there, maybe smiling and nodding occasionally until their moment is over. They've mentally added another feather to their wonderful peacock plumage whist thinking they've taken one from yours. They KNOW about Thor and Loki, and you don't.

Although we all hate being in situations like these, with 'new' knowledge being forced down our throats, we are all so guilty. Tsk! Tsk! I don't enjoy these moments by any means, but I tolerate them because learning is pretty freaking awesome. Your mind, being the sponge it is, soaks it up and gets hammered on new information. The problem I have with it is that knowledge, or higher education, is behind closed doors. Sure, I am paying to get my degree from a good University, and I am thoroughly enjoying my time there; but as much as I hate to say it: I am paying for that darned slip of paper that says, 'Kristina knows stuff'.

Education should be available to anyone who wants it. That slip of paper that I am sure I will hang on my wall one day will only help me get a job. My 'confirmed' knowledge is no better than the student of independent study, pouring over books and getting the same amount of education outside of a university. In all, that independent student is probably better than me, because the good Lord knows I'll bum around on Facebook and Pinterest with my free time.

Anyway, my point being that those in higher education should really get off their cute little boxes and stop trying to impress people with their big words. Whether we're talking an undergrad to a high schooler, a grad student to an undergrad, it doesn't matter. Take the time to explain to your audience what you mean, let them learn. You're here to teach, not to impress. Let knowledge be freely given and give your ego a break.

Then again- coprolites, midden, and debitage sound so much cooler than poop, trash, and sharp-edged waste.
Richard Klein, I'm looking at you... Your book is a kick in the parietals.

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