Thursday, September 6, 2007

Honesty is everything

You know what drives me crazy about myself? I can't remember a book about five minutes after I finish reading it. I can't even remember the author's name. I can't remember the main characters. I have a vague idea of what happened, such as, "Someone was trying to get married" or "There was a murder of some sort," but beyond that, I'm hosed. The saddest part of this is that I was a lit major in college. That's right, boys and girls, I actually majored in something of which I have no meaningful recollection.

For example, I took a whole class on Jane Austen. We read all six of her major works, of which I can only remember five right now, and that's just counting titles. Don't even ask me about the plots, although there I get off pretty easy because they're all similar. I did very well in the class, as I did in all my classes, because I'm good at writing, analysis, and discussion. Retention, however, is a whole other story.

I've always felt a little embarrassed about my degree, as it qualified me to do very little post-graduation other than administrative work, but it's even more embarrassing to admit that I don't actually remember anything I learned during those four years, except for gross generalizations like "I don't like Hemingway" (but I don't recall which books I read that put me in that opinion) and "I have a strong admiration for female writers of the Renaissance" (could I recommend any? Hardly. That would require their names.). Even now, gamely participating in book club, I wonder what the purpose is to reading if I don't retain anything. Does it really cultivate my character, intellect, and ideas, or is it just a glorified way of killing time? Wouldn't it be better just to admit defeat and settle for another night of mindless television instead? It's cheaper, and much less time consuming.

For the record, this is only one of many things I hate about myself. I also interrupt people, drive too aggressively, and have terrible posture, just to name a few. Don't you feel better about yourself now?


Heather said...

haven't noticed the interruptions or the bad posture. And you have great hair, so stop complaining!
Also, though I remember what I read really well, I tend to forget little things like wallets, keys, and stove burners being on. So there.

Melissa said...

We all know you really remember Jane Austen because of Colin Firth. No? That's just me? Hmmm.

I hadn't noticed the interrupting or the posture or anything either. Though I had noticed that your clothes always match and are clean.