I like to think that I am smart. I don’t believe it in the way that the blonde girl down at the pub thinks she’s smart because she watches shows on The “Learning” Channel, which teaches as much as a retired and decrepit babysitter, though. I like to think that I am smart because I constantly break the world down into patterns of numbers and shapes far more complex than the average person. I play the guitar and view the neck, not for the strings or frets, but for the imaginary notes that aren’t printed or spaced in real patterns that people normally see. I can’t explain it to anyone, let alone my guitar students, but that’s how I see it. I look for the basic building blocks of the visible reality and try to understand what it is that I see.
But does that make me smart? No. No, that makes intelligent. I have the knowledge to understand, or at least try to understand the world around me and that makes me intelligent.
So what makes me smart? A lot of people will tell you that the two are synonymous, but they are wrong. I am smart because I know that I don’t know it all and what I don’t know, I strive to learn. That is what makes me smart.
I have wanted to be a teacher for quite a long time, now, but every day, I read articles like THIS ONE, and I feel my interest in it waning. The article is a good read, and it’s logical as well. Of course, it became liberal propaganda near the end, but the points still stand. We are living in an age of ignorance. No matter how many people say that the general population is getting smarter, they will be wrong. The next time you visit your grandparents, ask them if they have any old school papers. If they do, read them over and ask what grade they were in when they took that test, or did that homework or classwork or pop quiz. More often than not, you’ll find that your grandparents were studying in fourth grade what you were studying in tenth, if you’re older than twenty. If you’re younger than twenty, they did in fourth grade what you did in twelfth. If you’re not even in tenth grade, they did in fourth grade what you will do in your first year of college.
We are losing our minds, and it’s our own fault.
When I was younger, my mother wanted me to join the military. I told her that I didn’t want to. When she asked me why, I told her that I didn’t want to protect a country that cares more for its nail-polish and designer sunglasses than its intelligence and education. That still stands, and its stance is getting stronger every day.