Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What'd you learn in school today?

Don't you think it's weird, the things that we retain from our education? I will be the first to admit that I've probably lost a TON of knowledge that I've learned over the years. I think the little tid-bits of information we do manage to hold on to is interesting. Why do we remember this, but not that?

The earliest pieces of information I can remember learning are from the second grade. I can remember learning the different colors by their Spanish names, but the only one I retained was red, which is rojo. The rest I forgot. When we were learning about the weather, I can still to this day, remember the names of the different clouds. Isn't that weird? There's nimbus, the really dark storm clouds, then stratus, the gray rain clouds, there's cumulous, the big ,white, puffy clouds, and cirrus, the wispy, feathery ones. I also remember learning about evaporation, and that between two jars filled with the same amount of water, the one with the wider mouth will evaporate faster. (Common sense dictates this, now, but for a second grader, it was difficult. The point I'm making is that it's funny I even remember this little evaporation test. Our teacher had us guess which would evaporate faster and I had no idea, so I said the one with the smaller mouth would and I was bummed when I was wrong. I think that's why I remember it so well.)

In high school, I remember learning from my science teacher, that when you turn on a fan, it doesn't change the temperature of the room. The room doesn't become cooler, it just feels cooler to us because the air is being displaced. Every time I turn on a fan, this little piece of information always enters my mind for a fleeting second.

In a sociology class I took back at my junior college (I totally loved Sociology, I'm contemplating minoring in it) I learned a lot of really interesting things. The pieces of information that come back to me the most when I'm people watching involve couples, though. I learned that interracial couples are not very common (less than 6% of married couples are interracial) - that people tend to marry people of their own race. I also learned that couples usually have the same degree of attractiveness, and that many times, (I forgot the sociologic term for it) people choose mates that are close enough to their own appearance that they look like they could be siblings. Strange, isn't it? I'm always reflecting on this stuff whenever I am watching people in public. (I'm not creepy. Who doesn't like to people watch?)

Another thing I think about a lot was something I learned in a psychology class. I read that a lot of times, when we dislike someone, it is because we see traits in them that we deny/repress in ourselves. In other words, that person has some sort of personality trait that we see in ourselves that we don't like. Whenever I find myself disliking someone in one of my classes or wherever, I flashback to that piece of information. It kind of blows my mind, sometimes. The opposite is true, as well. People that we choose to be friends with, are people that we see as having the same traits that we embrace within ourselves. Basically, our entire lives, we are reflecting ourselves in the mirrors of others. The deeper I let my mind go into it, the more tripped out I get. (Psychology is an insane thing. I was thinking about becoming a psych major a few years ago, but as I delved deeper into it, I came to realize that I would, quite literally, become crazy if I continued studying it.)

What weird facts did you retain from school?

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