Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Education and Common Sense

I experienced a true phenomenon yesterday—a university professor educated beyond common sense. Education and good old horse sense, I am now convinced, can be mutually exclusive.

The man is brilliant in his field and we had a fascinating conversation about the human condition. He eloquently quoted Fritz Perls and Freud, among others. I kept my chin in my palm enthralled with his expertise on what makes humans tick.

He is one of those people with degrees, diplomas and certificates of achievement framed and hanging on his office wall in numbers that left little wall space visible. He obviously had spent innumerable hours studying to have such wisdom available without referencing some dusty old text.

As his time for me dwindled, his mind clicked over to chores he had to get done when he got home, like mowing the lawn. That’s the one that got my attention.

He asked, “Since only the ends of a mower blade are sharpened, how does it cut grass in the center?”

I laughed.

He didn’t.

So, I told him that forward momentum takes care of it.

He had to think about it for a full second, maybe two and then the light in his eyes went on.

Later, while thinking about that odd transformation from enlightened guru to dim bulb within seconds, I visualized an eager young college student holding out a bag while professors, teachers, mentors and instructors filled that bag with knowledge within a very narrow range. The student kept his nose in that bag the whole time, years actually, never paying attention to the world around him. Questions came to mind.

If given the choice, would it be preferable to learn everything there is to know about a subject within a narrow range? Or, should we work at becoming better rounded in our education? Or, does it really matter? Simply asked: Is it better to know a lot about very little or to have some knowledge about many different things?

I’m sure the answer lies with where the passion is. As for me, I have a new respect for Texas rednecks.

Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/Summer 2010
"Anne Bonny, Where Are You?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/Spring 2010

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