Being Smart

A few stories hit me this morning about time, how it is used, and being smart. Some of this hit my brain bone, while others hit me hard in my stomach.

This story made me think about the power of intelligence, or at least the power granted to us by inquiry.

And this book review in The New Republic about time made me look at my own use of it, and when I thought for more than one minute, I could hear my Mother shouting at me, "You are wasting time."

What I was doing whilst Mom was doing this shouting was "reading."

I have probably spent in excess of 10% and perhaps as much as 25-50% of my adolescent and adult life reading something. Occasionally, I'll spend an entire day or weekend enthralled by a book.

With the advent of the internet and retirement I can spend hours (not tallied) checking one story after another, often taking me on paths little tread, unfamiliar and fascinating.

Another lament of my Mother's, "Girls are not supposed to be smart." Smart was the killer for marriage and success. And success was measured by how early and who you married.

Well, I married well enough and at a dangerously late age for my generation, but more important to me, always, was to to keep on learning. I did keep on learning, going to school after school racking up degrees, gathering up ideas, not things; studying a subject until I could qualify myself as learned and tilting windmills with ideas.

But still, on this snowy day, it was my Mother's voice I heard when I realized I had spent the entire day learning and not doing a single task.


  1. Perhaps we absorb more of the Puritan work ethic than we realize?

    Nice blog, thanks for using some of your time to produce Pentamento. Your blog is on my fountain pen blog rotation.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.