I reprimanded myself for not being able to meditate properly, for exhibiting such a shallow Western mind. And, besides, what possible good can knowing all those initials do for me now?
Later, when I got home, I began to think of all the things I've learned over the years, all the skills I've developed, that are now outmoded, out-of-date, completely useless. I'm sure you've got plenty of your own.
For example, how to drive a stick shift. Nobody drives a stick shift anymore . . . it's an odd car company that even makes a stick shift anymore.
Or know what a Nash Rambler is?
Why you're not supposed to light three cigarettes on the same match.
How to carefully place the needle on a record player between the songs on an 33 rpm LP.
How about writing cursive script? Those beautiful flowing f's and s's and r's. Gone the way of the do-do bird. My fourth-grade teacher was so proud of the penmanship she taught us, using those guidelines on the chalkboard for upper case, lower case and descending lines in the q's and g's.
How to change a typewriter ribbon . . . or use whiteout.
How to maneuver the rabbit ears to get the best reception. Do your kids even know what rabbit ears are?
How to refill a fountain pen, or replace the cartridge in a cartridge pen.
That there's such a thing as an electric blanket. (What ever happened to electric blankets, anyway?)
Where Route 66 goes? And what it means.
Who the "nattering nabobs of negativism" are, and who made the charge?
Do you remember the name of William Randolph Hearst's sled in Citizen Kane? I do, for whatever good it does me.
And the problem is, you simply can't get rid of useless information. How can I prove it? Okay, I bet you can fill in the blanks about what she was singing when you remember:
There she was just a-walkin' down the street, singin' . . . .
Snappin' her fingers and shufflin' her feet, singin' . . . .
She looked good (looked good), she looked fine (looked fine) and I nearly lost my mind.
Before I knew it she was walkin' next to me, singin'. . . .
So I close with another the bit of useless information I remember from Latin class: Quod Erat Demonstrandum.