I'm not sure if it's because I am an adult closing in on my mid-thirties or if it's because I am now a mother and influencing an impressionable young mind, but I am becoming very aware of what I know. Ever since I was a kid, I have watched Jeopardy! almost religiously. I have always had a certain sense of pride because I happen to know a lot of obscure trivia and pop culture references. However, I am ashamed to admit that I know close to nothing about things that really matter like geography and history. Sure, I have traveled outside of the United States and I speak a foreign language, but there are times where I find myself ashamed of my lack of actual knowledge. I often feel much more street smart than book smart.
When I graduated this past spring, I felt a great sense of accomplishment because I am the first in my family to get a bachelor's degree even if it took me 15 years to do so. Don't get me wrong; I know that I am smarter than your average bear. I've always gotten good grades and have had a passion for reading that spans decades which has enabled my spelling and vocabulary to be exceptional. Since graduation, though, I found myself spending way too much time on facebook and gossip websites. Recently, I decided to limit the time I spend on such things and to focus more on reading actual books. Hence my obsession with the millennium trilogy.
At night I make it a point to watch a half hour of local news and a half hour of world news with Diane Sawyer prior to my Jeopardy! ritual so that I can actually say I know what is going on around me. I sort of expect the local news to cover the Charlie Sheen debacle because I live very close to Hollywood. California is the entertainment capital of the world after all. When I saw Diane Sawyer bringing me the gossip, though, I realized there was a problem. Charlie Sheen is not world news. He is a celebrity on a mediocre sitcom with a substance abuse problem and a history of abusing women. World news is Gadhafi and soaring gas prices, not Two and a Half Men.
Because of this most recent bout of outrage, also spurred by Lindsay Lohan and her antics, I have decided that in the future I am going to do my very best to avoid tabloids and gossip sites. If I am going to read, I want to walk away from my reading with usable, teachable information that I can pass on to my son. It is my goal to educate him and give him a passion for knowledge. I don't want him to feel that there is any importance in which celebretard got arrested and went to rehab. So for now, I have deleted my links to Perez Hilton and the like and I'll just go from there. This has become a matter of principle for me. I'm better than that. We all are.