Sunday, December 6, 2009

Outlets for my Useless Knowledge

I often joke about my college major (political science and religious studies) and its use (or lack thereof) but surprisingly (astonishingly?) some of my "useless" knowledge has been coming in handy over the past few weeks.

Here are some of the uneccessary things I have learned over the past few years:
-History of Biblical literature
-How to assess Aquinas' Perfect Being theology
-Basic Mandarin
-A history of Chicago Cubs third string catchers and utility infielders
-How to scramble and survive in new cultures
-Professional Chopsticks skills (actually, I'm probably still in the bottom 50% of the world, but top 5% of Americans is worth something right?)
-The scholarship on structural, individual, and cultural causes of poverty
-Anything I've ever learned about political philosophy

Ok, so looking at the list, I've still only found a way to incorporate a few of these and I doubt I will ever find a use for Sandy Martinez' role on the '98 Cubs or Carl Schmitt's political thought, but here's my recent successes.

The student's at our Bible studies have become uber-intellectual of late, asking questions about free will, divine foreknowledge, salvation in the Old Testament, predestination, world religions, and on and on. Luckily, last week when I was asked about extra-biblical texts (i.e. The Gospel of Judas) I was ready to answer (thank you, University of Wisconsin-Madison religious studies department).

Then just two days later, I discovered 2nd graders will immediate jump at the offer, "Want to learn how to count to 10 in Chinese?" After teaching them, one girl was very adamant, "I'm telling my mom all about this tonight!"

Otherwise, um . . . I ate a sandwich with chopsticks the other night . . . (just for fun)

Hope everyone is loving life!