Ade (agentfroot) wrote,

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I'm beginning to realize that a lot of abstract concepts confuse the hell out of me. And I also don't know what a lot of big words describing abstract concepts mean. I've found that people who want to sound intelligent will use these words a lot, so half the time I have no idea what they're talking about, because they'll go on and on about abstract concepts. Since I was an English major, I got stuck reading a lot of literary criticism, and it turned a mild dislike into a seething hatred. I would rather clean my bathroom than read an article describing postmodern elements in some modern novel delving into the depths of human nature or some other boring crap. And I hate cleaning the bathroom. For one thing, I find literary criticism horrendously boring, about as exciting as sitting through a 3-hour lecture on politics (another subject I hate). For another, they deal with abstracts too much.

It's not that I'm too dumb to understand certain abstract concepts, it's more that my brain isn't interested in processing them. I have very selective learning abilities, apparently. If I find something interesting, I will research the crap out of it, and it will stick in my brain. But if I'm not interested, it gets filtered out. In school, I would learn what we were required to learn, but then after the test, the knowledge would promptly vanish. They kept putting me in advanced math classes in junior high and high school because they thought I was smart, even though I didn't give a crap about math and had zero interest in any math-related careers, and I was relieved that I didn't have to take another during senior year. I think the last course I took was trig/college algebra, and I don't remember any of it. The most advanced math I can do is basic algebra and geometry. So that's roughly five years of math courses that have died in my brain. I understood the math when I needed to pass the tests so I could graduate, but once the information stopped being necessary, it went bye-bye. And then my coworkers decided to put me in charge of balancing an entire project, knowing very well that I specialize in letters (and punctuation marks), not numbers. I don't know what they were thinking. But anyway, math usually isn't very abstract. In any case, if I'm not interested, information gets filtered out.

Maybe that's why I like a lot of children's and YA books. They usually deal with more concrete things than grownup books. Now, a lot of books deal with abstract concepts too, but it's more manageable if it supports an interesting story, and I think books for younger readers tend to have more interesting stories. (Probably for a good reason too - if you want kids to put down the video games and read a book, it has to be more interesting than the video games. Adults tend to have longer attention spans for books that aren't as wildly exciting.)

I was going to go more into this, but I find that I'm losing interest in what I'm typing. Go figure, huh?

You know what I like? The Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. I just finished the last one, and the whole series is totally up my alley. I'm a real mythology geek, plus it's got lots of explosions and weaponry and cool non-human characters and random silliness and all that fun stuff. It's like Harry Potter with Greek gods. There are a few things that irritate me about the series (like how Athena has a zillion kids despite being a maiden goddess and that whole gods-don't-have-DNA-so-they're-all-related-but-half-bloods-aren't-if-they-don't-share-a-parent-so-therefore-it's-cool-if-I-go-make-out-with-my-cousin thing), but the stories are intricate and entertaining. And going back to the abstract concept thing, they do deal with a lot of things, but they're done in a way that makes sense, even though sometimes I'd shake my head and think, "that doesn't seem right."

I'm also realizing that I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to do in the next few weeks, and I'll probably end up avoiding half of it. Blah.

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