They are Finally Letting Me In
So, it looks like, in the middle of my Summer of Purging, I might end up going to Harvard. I know. You are thinking, “But, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, haven’t you already been to Harvard for 4 years? It’s quite apparent from your erudite vocabulary that you attended an Ivy League school.”
Which leads me to my true topic for the day, which is, “Why do people think that I know things that I don’t?”
I am going to Harvard for a week-long conference on a topic that I never heard of, substituting for someone else who registered and cannot go. She kindly recommended me to take her place, and I am really excited. Because the Car Talk Guys, Tom and Ray, are in Cambridge. And they are retiring in October. So, this is my last chance to be in their “fair city” while they are still broadcasting. Although it’s not like I’m going to visit them or anything. Probably. I mean, I’m not planning to stalk them. Not in any kind of illegal sense anyway.
For some reason, this person who cannot go thought of me and Harvard in the same sentence. And that cracks me up. But it doesn’t really surprise me. I exude an air of Harvardness, I guess. It’s been my curse for years.
People are always asking me questions to which I can’t possibly know the answer, and then they seem completely shocked when I say, “I don’t know.”
For example, we passed a work crew on a busy street the other day, and my car passenger said, “Are they putting in a new telephone pole?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Well, what do you think they were doing?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
And so continues the questioning, with the same answer every time, until the person sullenly admits defeat or the next slightly out of the ordinary scene catches the person’s eye, and I am subjected to a new round.
The reason these questions bother me is because A) the person assumes that I was perceptive enough to observe the same exact thing he or she saw, and I am both completely blind and thoroughly unobservant 2.) the person assumes that I am in charge of city work crew assignments, and III) the person assumes I give a care.
And, for some reason, people seem to think that, if they ask me more and more detailed questions, that I will suddenly have a revelation and be able to answer what I could not answer before because they pried it out of me with their amazing interrogation skills.
This is why I like teaching gifted students. They are all under the assumption that I know absolutely nothing, and they are pleasantly surprised whenever I reveal a modicum of wisdom. When I say, “I don’t know” to one of their questions, they just move on instead of trying to pull out my fingernails one by one until I give them the answer.
So, I will be going to Harvard later this summer. But I’m not going to tell anyone I know because their expectations are already way too high, and I am pretty certain that 5 days on that prestigious campus will qualify me for about as much as my achievements playing Pocket Law Firm on my iPad.
Posted on June 18, 2012, in Humor, Relationships and tagged Cambridge, Car Talk, Harvard, humor, knowledge, life, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.
All good, but I am interested in the subject of the conference, all the same…? I mean, if the course is “How to train that recalcitrant bulldog”, all well and good. But, if it’s “Determining the age of a fossil by means other than carbon dating”, do you really care all that much…? Just saying…
Or, maybe I am completely missing the point… It is Harvard after all!
It’s more along the lines of the fossil one, but in the education field instead of paleontology.
What is alarming to me, WIM2S, is that when you reply to my comments on your blog, WordPress fails to notify me. It is most perturbing…
Yeay Boston! Have fun!!! I’m so jealous… I’m missing New England these days. Oh yes… the Harvard thing is pretty cool too 😉
Pretty much getting anywhere out of this 100 degree weather will be an improvement!
harvard – meh. THE CAR TALK GUYS??? SA-WEET! hilarious post and i hope you have a great time.
Isn’t it sad that they are retiring? I’m really bummed.
You don’t know anything. We say that with love:)
Bella and DiDi
Thank you. You know just the way to get to my heart!
I adore you!
Right back at ya!
Loved this post…made me smile. You will have a great time. Hugs
Hopefully, there will be lots of hilarious hijinks so I can blog about it!
You could have knocked me down with a feather when you revealed that you did not go to Harvard! 🙂 Enjoy!! 🙂
Shocking, isn’t it?
On the building, those columns, are they doric or ionic? Is that native stone? did they quarry it locally? What is the average annual rainfall of the Amazon river basin? If a bus leaves Chicago at 8am on a tuesday, and my mail is delivered late on thursday, how much vitamin k is in a bacon sundae?
Patiently awaiting answers…
If a man is 95% smarta$$ at 7:46 in the morning, how much of a smarta$$ is he at 9:30 at night?
Well, obviously that depends on how likely his wife is to insert her foot in said smarta$$…
good luck with Harvard 🙂
I’m trying to figure out a way I can sneak Wonderbutt in.
When in doubt about the answer just say anything with conviction. You probably do that already, hence your rep.
I honestly say, “I don’t know” 99.999% of the time. People just think I’m hiding something.
That’s such an awesome opportunity! Soak up the brilliance if you can, but yes, don’t tell ANYONE – way too much pressure. 🙂
Yes, I definitely can’t handle any more pressure!
Yay! My mom is convinced I could have gotten a full ride there. Sure… But I’m sure you could have!
I bet you could go anywhere you want – but I think being with your fiancé will make you happier than being at Harvard!
Wow! Have fun and we are so happy for you! 🙂 By the way, do you think they will be putting in telephone poles by Harvard when you go there… snicker….
Sometimes I think Ginger is the one writing your comments!
Ginger writes many comments…. she delights in her mischief…. wait till you see our post tomorrow…. she really does it this time!
Ha, this post made me remember an old family friend who would catch squirrels in his attic and then drive them to Harvard to release on the grounds so they could “get an education”. At least that’s what he told us kids he did with them…
I think some of those Harvard educated squirrels have infiltrated our attic!
Harvard is great, have fun! And kudos to you for having the patience to teach 🙂
My husband (and me, to a lesser degress) is really bummed that Tom and Ray are retiring from the show…hard to imagine them not being around – except in re-runs, apparently…
I know! I always try to catch them every weekend. I still know nothing about cars, but they make me laugh!
Exactly! It’s nice that even we clueless ones can enjoy it!