Saturday, April 24, 2010


So I was in Russian Literature on Wednesday, and my teacher said something that stuck with me. He was giving the speech that every English-type teacher gives about speaking up in class: everyone has something worthwhile to say, there's no wrong answer, I'm not the only one with an opinion... that kind of stuff. And then he said,

"There are 20 of you in this class. And with an average age of about 20, that's 400 years of experience. That 400 years has more to say than I do."

The quote sorta punched me in the face. I've always had this idea of people as more than what we see in the present, but I'd never been able to phrase it quite like that. I was so happy when he said it! It was the perfect summation of this mentality I've always had, and one that's kind of saved my life. One of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson says that there's very little you can learn from yourself; there's SO much more we can learn from other people. Back then I thought Emerson was the man. I thought of him as this genius who stooped down to the level of others so that he could learn about life. But looking back I realize how ridiculous that was. He wasn't 'stooping down' to the lowly dairy farmer or the town cooper so that he could learn from them, he realized that they had just as much to offer as he did. Emerson could write and think and hypothesize like no one's business, but he probably couldn't have run a dairy farm to save his life.

I've tried to adapt that to my own life, especially since moving to Idaho, where I'm surrounded by 12 types of crazy at any given time (and I kinda love it). My first couple of months in Idaho I found myself making a lot of snap judgments about people. It was a bad combination of home-sickness and Northern Virginian pride (which we have pretty badly...). Since then I've really tried to be less judgmental, and give people the benefit of the doubt, because I'm sure the person wearing the all-denim outfit with a monument for a belt-buckle could probably school me in a million-and-one different things. I feel kind of like Shaun Brumder from Orange County, not so much the beginning of the movie, but the end where he realizes that being surrounded by all the crazy is actually the perfect environment for him. Not that I feel like this person stuck with a bunch of crazy people all the time, or anything like that...but you get my point.

Quote of the Day:
"Maybe it's a're just not responsible enough to be a mother...irony?" -Caitie Metts

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