It Bears Repeating…

It’s been one of those days, so I thought I’d remind a few people of something important…

Words on image read, “I am not here, sir, to remedy your zoological ignorance.” Also included are silhouettes of a sword and a Frumious Bandersnatch.

As someone else said, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”

Yeah, I often attempt to ‘remedy zoological ignorance’ anyway. I can’t help it. If I see someone struggling because they’re operating with false, inaccurate, or missing information, I want to help them. (Thus do I exhibit both my “lack of empathy” and my “narrow range of interests/knowledge,” right?) This isn’t about ‘proving that I’m always right,’ making someone else feel stupid, or any of the other things certain “experts” insist must be my entire motivation for sharing my knowledge with other people. (Um… You’re projecting, doc. Maybe you oughta stop that.)

Mostly, though, I wish people would make some attempt to find things out for themselves, or at least make an attempt to look at/listen to the information they’ve asked for when someone goes through the trouble of finding it for them and just handing it to them. “I never use the internet,” says the kid who is always checking his email or Twitter or Facebook; Grace jokes that he must have his phone fused to his hand, because he never puts it down or even stops looking at it while supposedly having a conversation with someone who’s right there in front of him. “I never use the internet, so I can’t use Google to find the stuff I want to know, and I don’t care that you gave me the three search terms guaranteed to get me the information, because that’s tooooooo haaaaarrrrrd. Just tell me. Oh, you already told me five times just today, but I wasn’t listening. I won’t listen the next time, either. You’d better stop telling me to pay attention — I know you’re just saying that to make me feeeeeeeeel baaaaaad.”

One thing I have to give that kid credit for: He makes me feel a lot less regretful about not being a high school art teacher anymore. Can you imagine? “But I don’ wanna learn the color wheel! You should just tell me how I should mix these colors to get the color I want, because looking at that really simple chart on the classroom wall to figure it out is toooooooo haaaaaaarrrrrd. And besides, I don’ wanna mix blue and yellow to make green — you’re just telling me to do it that way because you’re jealous of how unique I am, and you want to oppress me.” Compared to this sort of nonsense, dealing with students who do crazy stuff like dropping their pants in class or making goat noises for the whole hour is easy. Shockingly easy, in fact. I was surprised how quickly they responded to calm reason: “Fishboy, if you keep dropping you pants in class, everyone will want to do it, and then they won’t be listening to me teach, and that would hurt my feelings.” Boom! Fishboy stops dropping his pants in class for at least the next three or four weeks. He doesn’t even fall to the floor and flop like a fish to demonstrate the source of his nickname. Or, “Do you really think that’s what a goat sounds like, Topher? Well, my mom raises goats, and I can tell you, they don’t sound like that. But since you’re interested in goats, how about you focus today on drawing a picture of goats? No, nothing we can’t hang on the wall when parents are visiting — sorry.” That one didn’t work quite as well, but “Topher” was the student I’d been told not even to say good morning to, because “he might become violent.” Getting him to do anything other than disrupt the class was a major achievement.

(I am so very much not exaggerating in these anecdotes, by the way. I’m actually holding back somewhat.)

The tl;dr version (deliberately hidden so it’s not tooooooo eeeeaaaassssyyyyy to find) of this is, It’s not my responsibility to understand anything for anyone. If you’re reading this, you can read, obviously, and you have access to the internet. That means you have the tools needed to learn stuff for yourself. I’m more than happy to help people who want help, but I’m not going to do all the work, and I’m not going to waste my time explaining anything to someone who’ll just be playing with their phone (literally or figuratively) instead of paying attention.





About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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4 Responses to It Bears Repeating…

  1. Terra Vance says:

    The planets would align if join us at the Aspergian and post this (and all your ruminations) there. Have you read the empathy series that’s unfolding? This blog addresses a lot of similar phenomena and lends a lot of perspective.

    Great read ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve been readaing the series of posts on empathy, and I find it very interesting. (I haven’t commented on any of those posts because sometimes I’m unable to write a comment without it being really long, and I don’t know what each blogger considers acceptable for that. You may have noticed that I “talk” a lot if I feel that I have something relevant to say on a topic… 🙂 )

      Thank you for inviting me to share my posts about autism on The Aspergian.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Terra Vance says:

    Well, I can assure you that your prolixity is always welcomed on my blogs. I believe it would be welcomed on all of our blogs. I keep hoping that you will chime in, and perhaps flesh out the carnage implied between the lines (you know, those nebulous implications we’re not supposed to be able to interpret)…

    Even on an Aspergian blog, I’m “behaving” a little.

    You can even correct my grammar. I love pedantic aspies. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really long germane comments wouldn’t bother me at my blog, but they do bother WordPress, which is programmed to send all long replies to Neverland, because of the suspicion that they’re spam. My solution has been to break up a long comment into sections, and advise the blogger that I’d be sending a bunch of consecutive replies. So far, no blogger has objected to the practice, and WordPress hasn’t caught on to the subterfuge.

    Liked by 1 person

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