Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interests of genius and Cardassians.

Song of the day: Þessir menn, by Valdimar. Dat bass.

Yesterday, I had a great time helping my twelve year old niece with her Religious Studies homework. Granted, this was not because the subject was so eloquently expressed, but because we share the view that the Icelandic education system doesn't have half an idea what the Funk&Wagnalls it is doing. To whit; the current subject they were tackling was Hinduism, which you'll have to agree is at the very least interesting (religions involving gods with animal heads generally are), the stories of which count as many of my favourites in religious dogma. Yet somehow they writer of the textbook managed to strip the subject down to its barest facts, shredding it of all fascination and wonder, leaving you feeling like you had just eaten a particularly bad bowl of cereal (the kind that taste like paper-mache.)

It was honestly amazing, and not in a good way. Which led us into the discussion that its disgustingly difficult to learn things that are boring, and why making the subjects so still seems to be the pinnacle of achievement to which all school book writers aspire. I mean, it's hell of a lot more easy to learn things that you find fascinating, which is why people tend to start specializing (or at least doing better at some subjects than others) from an early age, in the things they like. While I will be going to study archeology at university because I love it to bits, I would never subject some of my friends to it because frankly it would bore them to tears and they just wouldn't be able to learn it because they wouldn't want to in the first place. It's ultimately what makes a genius, I think. After all, what is a genius but a person that is really, really interested in something? Sure, intelligence helps, but it's not going to do you any good if you just don't care about anything.

My niece really is marvelous, though. She's very clever to the point that she finishes her finals exams on ten minutes and gets 10/10 (in the subjects she likes, of course), and even then, some of her teachers give her crap about it because they're always certain that she just hasn't studied at all and has flunked the whole thing, even though she has turned in consistently good work over the whole year. I had been a bit on the fence about it I should have her inherit my pocket watch (since it has an S engraved in it and both our names begin with that letter) because while she shares my love of Star Trek, she also follows the exploits of that Kim Cardassian chick.

What, it's spelled 'Kardashian'? Whatever, I'm still doing this joke.

But it was all decided on the moment when a discussion of avatars lead into another on James Cameron's Avatar and she somehow managed to explain the concept to herself using the film, an eraser, a sheet of paper and a pen as props. I have no idea how I would replicate the effect in written word, but trust me, it was cosmic. She is definitely getting my stuff when I die. Well, at least some of it.

I may possibly be doing a post on when I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness. Not to get graphic or anything, but... There will be a LOT of sporfling and squeeing.

No comments:

Post a Comment