Tuesday, April 01, 2008

And what have you forgotten?
Sometimes I can't believe what I've forgotten. Not phone numbers or birthdays, but the things I spent years studying in college. With our Grand Tour planned I'm going back in my mind and reviewing dates, stories, the history of what we will be seeing, and I'm dismayed at how little I remember.

Granted, what we learned in college isn't often in daily use. I mean how often do I need to pull the dates when the Parthenon was constructed out of my brain? But I will need/like to know these things when we're actually standing in front of the Parthenon. So it looks like I'm going to have to spend some time refreshing my education.

On the one hand, I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a goal of mine to be up to speed as a Classicist/Art Historian when we're on our trip. But getting there is a bit intimidating, I must admit. I have plenty of time and I certainly have all the reference books I need. It just seems like such a job. And so sad, when I knew this stuff cold so many years ago. I can't believe that I once read The Iliad the the original Greek. The other day I picked up my old "baby Greek" textbook and it looked, well, Greek to me. Did I once really know how to read this language?

It's odd, because there are a few random facts that I still retain. God knows why. I can, off the top of my head, tell you the names of the architects of the Parthenon (Iktinos & Kallicritis) (misspelled) (badly). Why do I remember that? And if I can remember that, why can't I recall the dates when Brunelleschi was working? The mind is a very odd thing.

And I know it's not just me. I'm sure all of you have facts, skills, knowledge that you could once quote with ease and that now live in the dark recesses of your brain, behind your high school locker combination and the name of that third-grade teacher who always smelled of Dentine. But don't you wish you still had that knowledge at your fingertips?

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