Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting older makes me dumber

Song for this post: "Today" ~ Smashing Pumpkins

Taken from Doctor Quack's blog post on why it sucks to be aging:

Not only am I dumber than I used to be, I’m also more retarded.

Maybe the first clause is due to this principle: “The more things you know to exist, the dumber you feel,” but that doesn’t help me feel any less retarded. And I don’t mean that in an offensive-slur kind of way. Literally, I feel like I’m mentally handicapped, at least compared to how I used to be. Let’s take language as an example:

When I had just turned 20, I took a class in Lithuanian, a notoriously difficult and obscure language. There were four people in my class, and one of them was a benevolent middle-aged man who tragically stumbled through lessons day in and day out. This would happen:
Teacher – “’Pusryčiauti’ means ‘to eat breakfast.’ How do you say, ‘to eat breakfast’?”
Man – “P… p… pa… pra…”
Teacher – “…..”
Man – “It starts with a P, right?”
I felt for the man, but I didn’t understand his problem, because frankly it couldn’t have been easier for me.
Teacher – “Anybody else?”
Me – “’Pusryčiauti.’ Aš pusryčiavau bendrabutyje. Aš valgau jogurtą.”
Teacher – “Labai gerai, Džefai.”
Fast forward. I’m in my fifth year of Polish. Every damn week for the past five years, I have the same conversation:
“Pani Profesor, jak się mówi ‘to receive’?”“…dostać.”“Shit. That’s right.”(I actually had to look that up just now)
Just as frequently, this happens:
“Pani Profesor, jak się mówi ‘achievement’?”
“Ośśś… oś… …..”
Now, I understand learning a language is a skill that gets worse over time, but even in my beloved music classes, I have a similar problem. I’ll be sitting in electronic music lecture and this will happen:
TA – “Once you assign the mod wheel to the parameter like this… you can adjust it like so.”
Me – “Wait, how do you assign the which to the who wha?”
TA – “Like this.”
Me – “Wait, sorry, one more time. I was thinking about milk just now.”
TA – “You were thinking about …milk? …what about milk?”
Me – “You know… just… about milk.”
And that’s the most disturbing thing: I’ve gotten to the point where my abstract thoughts drown out things that are actually happening, but my abstract thoughts aren’t even doing anything. It’s not like I would be thinking about drinking milk. I’d just be thinking… about milk.

1 comment:

  1. Throw some kids in the mix and you will be licking windows in no time. (I know from personal experience).