Let's pretend I have a talent for writing. I don't really. I just like to think I do. When I was in school, I used to get assigned essays, as did we all. Most of my friends and fellow students hated essays and essay questions. I loved them.
I loved them not because I was clever and remarkably knowledgeable in the various subjects but because I felt I was very good at dishing out bovine excrement. All you really needed was little knowledge and a decent vocabulary and you could greatly impress the average teacher. That's a little sad when you think about it.
In fact, the only place that talent was of no use was in math courses. Those teachers wanted real answers. And, too often, they wanted proof you didn't simply copy it off that cute (but brainy) chick sitting next to you. That was annoying at times. Not because I cheated from that cute chick's paper (if I did look over at her, it was to try to sneak a peek inside her blouse) but because I could sometimes do the problems in my head and didn't care to write them down on paper.
The best classes for creative use of writing were History, Social Studies, Civics (do they teach that anymore?), and English. History was the easiest since all you had to do was toss in a few dates and names along with meaningless prattle about an era or historical event. Social Studies and Civics were next but you might have to know how something functioned in order to know the right kind of prattle.
English was the toughest. I mean, after all, spelling, grammar, and knowing when to start a new paragraph all counted. My spelling was never an issue but the other two? I hadn't a clue. Do you know I never once parsed a sentence? No teacher I had ever asked me to. So, to this day, I cannot do it. I struggle with commas and am lost when it comes to semi-colons. I start paragraphs randomly.
But I managed to impress teachers with my prose. I think that says more about the abilities of the average student of my day than it does about me. A similar thing happened during my alleged career in telecommunications. I would get outstanding evaluations. This was always a mystery to me. As far as I could tell, I wasn't putting out any real effort at all. I coasted most of the time.
A boss once explained to me that I was a "big fish in a small pond." I think he was right. I wasn't a great tech or employee, I was just better than my so called peers.
And now? Now my peers are much better. There is so much talent here in the Blogosphere that I am overwhelmed. Still, I feel so much better after ranting and/or raving about something that I will continue. If not to entertain you then to work off the stress of unbridled retirement.
A Night Unremembered
9 years ago