By the time I turned twenty-two years old, I had spent nineteen years in school. Only the last two were by choice, but I would have gone even if I didn’t have to go. I love to learn new things, and I was a good student. I present my third grade, first quarter report card as evidence:
I’m not really a great student anymore. I do still love to learn, but I’m no longer very conscientious. Yet there are things I would like to learn, if I had the time, talent and motivation.
I also included the probability of actually learning them, on a very official scale of 1-10.
1 = I’m more likely to sprout wings than learn how to do this, and 10 = I can definitely learn this if I actually focus for more than seven minutes.
1. How to text with my thumbs. I text with my pointer fingers, and it drives my daughter nuts. She says I would be much more efficient using my thumbs; I say I would make even more mistakes that my phone would auto correct. Probability: 6
2. How to parallel park. I learned for my driver’s test, but I took forever to get in the damn spot. I got points off for taking so long; any longer and I would have failed. I will only park at the curb if there are two spots open; then I have plenty of room to swoop in. Probability: 3
3. How to whistle. My mother-in-law used to call her boys home for dinner with that finger-in-the-mouth, piercing whistle. I’m lucky if any sound comes out at all. And whistling a tune? Forget it—I have one note in my repertoire. Probability: 1
4. How to figure out the iCloud. Are my photos on my phone, my iPad, or my cloud? I can never figure out where they are, and I just don’t understand the iCloud. I’m about to drink the Kool-Aid and buy a Mac, and I’m considering taking a class at the Apple store. This mortifies my daughter, of course, and solidifies my status as “old fart.” Probability: 8.5
5. How to use my camera the way it should be used. I have a nice camera, but I need to take the time to learn how to use it beyond the auto settings. I fiddle with the aperture and shutter speed, but I’m really just guessing. I’m determined to get better, though. Of course I’ve been saying that for a year. Probability: 8, or more realistically, 7
6. How to make salmon they way they do in restaurants. Anytime I order salmon, it’s crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. When I cook it, it’s either crispy and dry or soft and mushy. I know it has something to do with searing it, but that sounds too difficult for me. Probability: 6.5
7. How to speak another language fluently. Four years of instruction weren’t enough; I should have studied abroad. I hope my kids do; being bilingual would be amazing. Probability: 1
8. How to sing well. I know people take singing lessons, but I do believe you must have some natural talent to begin with. So as much as I would love to belt it out on Broadway, I just don’t have the pipes. Probability: -37
9. How to use chopsticks. Even after receiving instruction from the waitress in Japan (as in Disney’s Epcot Japan), I still can’t pick up anything without dropping it on the way to my mouth. But I refuse to use a fork to eat sushi, and hopefully one day my fingers will figure out what to do. Probability: 5
10. How to guzzle a beer. I can’t do it without foam and ale dribbling down my chin and neck. I once donned one of those beer helmets with the tubes coming out from either side that you put in your mouth. I almost drowned. Probability: 2.5
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