Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Essay 3: One Thing I Understand Better than Others

No matter how much you know about any subject, there is always someone who knows more than you. I learned this lesson early. I thought I understood the monkey bars better than any other kid on the playground. While some merely swung from bar to bar, I hung upside down, skipped rungs, and sat atop the horizontal ladder like it was my throne. But my reign was short lived. Soon there was a new master of the bars, a kid whose Cirque de Soleil act made me realize that I didn’t know the first thing about monkeying around. This humbling lesson was learned early, and repeated often.

Education taught me real good. I started out with valuable lessons on cooties and cartwheels, progressed to classes on baking soda volcanoes and eventually made my way all to the cap and gown ceremony of my undergrad. 18 years of lectures, projects, exams, presentations, homework, and enough notes to fill the Grand Canyon have taught me one thing for sure: there is no such thing as knowing everything about anything.

However, that leaves the question unanswered: what is the one thing I understand better than others?

I sat and pondered this question. Brow furrowed and sitting as solidly as The Thinker, I realized was literally sitting on the answer. The one thing that my education has made me an absolute expert at is parking it for the long haul. I am an absolute champion at sitting and staying. Though the canine breed has made this practice commonplace, my skills have taken it to a whole level. People tend to attribute sitting to laziness, but I argue that it is in fact evidence of my work ethic. I understand how to sit until the job is done.

As any Asian gymnast will tell you, in order to hone your craft, you have to start early and practice often. I began to explore this trade an early age, plunking myself down in front of the Price is Right at my babysitter’s house. I then improved my skills through elementary school, sitting through classes and gradually increasing my sedentary hours, parked at my desk doing homework. Not only did my academia work out my gluteus maximus, but I supplemented my training through other means. Unless you are able to walk to all your desired destinations, travel ironically also requires you to take a seat and sit still. Entertainment, whether it was watching television or visiting friends always seemed to land me seated in the crook of a couch.

It seemed that no matter what I did, at some point I was asked to take a seat. So take it I did. I now understand exactly how to sit through everything from a University lecture to an eight-hour-long road trip to conversations with old friends. If practice makes perfect, my academic, personal, professional practices have made me perfect at parkin’ it.

1 comment: