Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Interesting Things I've Learned

This is a post I meant to write a long time ago, right when first semester classes let out. Now I'm back at Taylor and very excited about it. Before I start my first full week of class (I had class today, but hey, it's a Tuesday) I want to put up a list of the most interesting things I learned last semester, in class and out. Perhaps you already knew these random facts, or maybe they don't seem so remarkable. In any case, they stuck out to me. In no particular order:

  • Drinking milk or eating dairy products before singing doesn't actually do anything to your voice. This should have been obvious to me because the windpipe and esophagus are two different things. I've been told the milk makes mucus, but I've never really observed that milk has any effect on my singing voice, and one of the music professors told me this. I'm going to believe her so I can have my milk and sing, too.
  • Having lots of time does not necessarily facilitate getting lots of things done. This is a widely-observed phenomenon among people who do NaNoWriMo.
  • Contrariwise, having very little time makes you an extremely productive person. (It works for me, anyway. I need to keep busy if I'm actually going to finish revising my novel!)
  • The Golden rectangle is everywhere, and it’s really fun to hunt for it. (Thank you, math class!)
  • Fibonacci in general – awesome. If you know nothing about Fibonacci numbers, I hope you cover it in class at some point or do some research on your own. Start with Vi Hart's videos, if you like.
  • How to use power saws. This I learned from theatre set building, and I think it will be very useful later in life. Perhaps it would be more useful to be able to handle a drill properly, but I'm still really bad at that.
  • Satan and Lucifer weren't originally proper nouns.They're Hebrew words to which we've attached specific people, in this case the same specific person.
  • How to use databases. This is an important research skill I'm still surprised I didn't learn in high school. Thank goodness for friendly librarians.
  • How to use Photoshop. Part of me thinks this is kind of cheating to put it on this list, but as a person who likes art, I think this is also really useful.
  • "Internet" is a proper noun and should be capitalized. For some reason, this really took me by surprise. Again, perhaps this should have been obvious, but I find it interesting that in our very Internet-oriented society, spelling and punctuation are dropped for lots of day-to-day communication to the point of ignoring the medium we're using. Or maybe it's more that the Internet is such a part of our lives that we take it for granted.
I want a better list next semester, so I need to kick learning into high gear. Perhaps I should start by sleeping for my first ever 8:00 a.m. college class tomorrow.


  1. Concerning the last one:

  2. But Doc told me that. I thought Doc was never ever wrong.

  3. While you're in Doc's classes, yes. Doc is God in Doc's classes. That said, however, when it comes down to it, Doc is an editor, and quite an old one at that. Blindly accepting an editor's opinion is like giving your baby plastic surgery because the midwife doesn't like the shape of its nose: sometimes it's necessary, but usually the midwife is just being ripe.

  4. I have a hard time seeing Doc as a midwife or plastic surgeon.