Insist (Learning the Wrong Thing So Well)

When faced with the truth, she said, “well, that’s not nearly as impressive.”

Today’s prompt is insist.

I read a story earlier today about a student at Southern New Hampshire University who failed a comparative culture essay because her professor didn’t know Australia was a country. “It’s a continent,” the instructor said. “Yes,” said the student, “but it’s also a country.” The student sent links from Australia’s “about us” page, but the teacher was adamant. The story went viral, the student got reimbursed for the entire class, and the teacher got fired.

I’m sure you’ve been in that student’s shoes to one degree or another.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher taught us that Thomas Jefferson was on the quarter. This is not so. I corrected her, but she would not relent. The same thing happened in second grade with a different teacher in a different school in a different district.

Sometimes, people learn the wrong thing so well, it’s very hard to learn the right thing.

I know of someone else who believed well into her 40s that the presidents’ heads on Mt. Rushmore were naturally occurring. When faced with the truth, she said, “well, that’s not nearly as impressive.”

A Brief Theory of (De-cluttering) Everything

Getting rid of things that just don’t matter goes a long way toward making room for things that do.

Yesterday, I posted about the millions and millions of search results out there for minimalism.  Today, the WordPress Daily Prompt happens to be simplify. (More on that here:  Daily Prompt: Simplify).

I’ve never done the Daily Prompt, but today seemed like a good day to start.  Minimalism has been on my mind as I go about the business of updating various parts of my house.  No big renovations, just some minor improvements, all of which I can handle myself with absolutely no training (which is exactly the amount of training I have).

One of the most important things I’m doing is getting rid of stuff. If I don’t actually use it, need it, or like it, it’s going.  It’s amazing how many things we hang on to just because we feel like we should.  I don’t mean sentimental things, I mean things that somehow found their way into the accretion disk swirling around my life’s event horizon.

Last year, I started putting some of the minimalist philosophy into practice.  Black t-shirts and blue jeans became my daily decent-weather look.  It’s slimming, it always matches, and it’s one less thing to worry about.  I have one go-to thermal hoodie for when it gets cold, and a black corduroy sport-coat style jacket when necessary.  I’ve had my boots for a year-and-half and just changed the laces.  I’m good for another 3000 miles at least.

This has been very freeing, and so I’ve started applying it to the way I (try to) organize my house.

One of the tenets of Apple-Store style minimalism is that open space is beautiful.  As a writer, I was trained to fill in blanks.  Yesterday, I put a shelf bathroom to keep the counter empty.  It turns out, open space is beautiful.  I feel kind of like a Jedi.

The little trash can on a track beneath my kitchen sink?  I don’t use it.  Gone.  The wine glasses on the top shelf of the cabinet?  When am I ever having wine with that many people?  I’ll fill them each with M&Ms and donate to the church’s raffle.  Exactly how many Tupperware lids with no corresponding vessels does one home need?  You know what time it is.

Excising the stuff from my life means making more room for better uses of my time and money.  It honestly feels like the physical practice of downsizing is helping me think better, like the brainstorm mess of everything I could keep around is giving way to just a few important points.  A thesis, if you will.  I’m eating healthier, drinking more water, and exercising more.  Getting rid of things that just don’t matter goes a long way toward making room for things that do.

 

 

When Clark Kent Quit The Daily Planet

“I was taught to believe you could use words to change the course of rivers — that even the darkest secrets would fall under the harsh light of the sun…But facts have been replaced by opinions. Information has been replaced by entertainment. Reporters have become stenographers. I can’t be the only one who’s sick of what passes for the news today.”

Clark Kent, upon quitting The Daily Planet in 2012.  Everyone expected him to start a blog.

I wonder what the 2012 Kent would think of the current state of…things.

Stocks take another tumble, Dow dives more than 1,000 points – ABC News

What we consider newsworthy changes on a near-daily basis. Another 1000 point drop in the Dow hardly merits a Google trend today. When it happened a few days ago, the sky was falling along with shares of anything not called Amazon. Mercurial times, these.

The wild ride on the stock market continued on Thursday.

Source: Stocks take another tumble, Dow dives more than 1,000 points – ABC News

Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

“No, say food safety experts. Molds can easily penetrate deep into a soft food, like bread. But you can salvage other foods with tougher surfaces, like cabbages, carrots and hard cheeses.”

Source: Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR