01 January 2010

Project Better Brain

This morning I finally got around to finishing last Sunday's NY Times.

I know, right? How the hell long does it take a person to read one newspaper? Well, when said person is an information junkie who spends a ridiculous amount of time online and reading magazines, it apparently takes five long days.

So over sunny-side-up eggs and Panettone toast (leave it to the Italians to elevate fruit cake to high art), I dug into the Arts and Leisure section. Two paragraphs into the first article - about the Bauhaus movement - I encountered two subtopics with which I was only passingly familiar.

Instead of just thinking, "Hnugh...I'll have to look that up sometime," I actually put down the newspaper, picked up the laptop, and Wiki'd them. Two hours later I know more about The Weimar Republic and Walter Gropius than I did yesterday - a/k/a Last Year.

Which got me thinking - what if I dedicate 2010 to learning? I mean, really going out of my way to learn about 'stuff' outside my usual...what? Sphere of interest? Information comfort zone?

We all have a limited number of topics in which we're interested, right? Football. Local politics. World War I, muscle cars (thinking of Hub here)...whatever. And every day, every year, we learn a little more about these things, deepening our understanding.

But how much do we broaden our knowledge as we get older? Once we leave college/university, we get locked into a little sphere of interest and have to be pushed into learning about new things.

Sooooo.....What about western philosophy? What about brewing beer? Polar exploration? Doctors without Borders. Fashion of the British Regency period. Marcel Duchamp?

Yesterday I bought a journal. I have no idea why. I was at Target, buying a photo album, when I wandered over to the stationary section and picked up a blank journal. Bought it. I've never kept a journal in my life.

So here's what I want to do in 2010 - this is NOT a resolution...I don't do resolutions - when I come across "stuff" totally out of my realm of knowledge, take the time to learn a bit about it and jot it down.

I think it'll be interesting to look back, a year from now, and review all the new "stuff" I've learned about. Or, maybe not. We'll see. Either way, it seems like a better way to spend my time than reading another SciFi series of books, obsessing over American politics and drinking too much wine.

Of course, there's no way I'm going to let this cut into the time I spend mooning over hot boys who are young enough to be my sons. Hey, you have to draw the line somewhere....

2 comments:

Country Girl said...

Good Lord. If I learn anything this year? It will probably be the rules in basketball. Or soccer. Or tennis. None in which I am interested. I think I'm on the wrong train.

The View From Here said...

Great idea! I actually started a blog. It looks like crap, but hey, it's a start! I did it so I would have a place to put my random thoughts. I realize that putting them out into public might not be a good idea, but oh well, who cares?

I also thought it might make me more accountable. With the hope that someone is reading it and depending on me to cook what I talked about yesterday, finish a project I mentioned, take a photography class and blog about it, etc, etc. This is my hope. So far, it's been fun. Like a movie, I have "rolled it out" to a limited few. Part embarrassment/part fear of rejection/part even I can't understand.