Sunday, February 6, 2011


being enrolled in this program with 11 other byu students, i'm coming to the harsh realization that, typically,

i have no idea what i'm talking about.

i admire these 11 kids in a lot of ways. for one, they stick it out in brutal provo winters, & i whine about the december rain in hawaii screwing up my tanning schedule. but besides being cold weather champs, these are the kind of kids stoked to live in india for three months conducting research all day.

the kind of kids who know stuff.

there's craig, who speaks greek, latin, french, spanish, german, sanskirt, & maybe some south african sign language.

and hilary, who consistently reads more than 60 books each year.

there's kids studying anthropology, genetics, psychology, humanities.. we have some really interesting meal time conversations.

i do a lot of the talking. but my input is primarily in narrative form.

(the group nominated craig & i as the best storytellers of the group. craig grew up on a farm surrounded by german quakers, plus he served a mission in greece where he had a german companion with aspergers, & spent 6 months routinely accompanying 5 pregnant latino women to their gyno appointments. i am flattered they think i can compete with that.)

but that being said, i don't feel i have much more to offer these people. i can't educate them on anything. it's like trying to find a gift for grandma, who's been living so long she's already accumulated everything she'd ever need. so you paint her a picture instead. my stories are all i can give to these people who already know everything.

and i tell ya. sometimes it gets tiring being surrounded by human encyclopedias. i can't casually remark that i'm worried what high school is going to be like by the time i'm raising teenagers, because, "studies show that adolescent sex rates are lower now than they were in the 1950s, & drug usage fell drastically during the 80s following the sexual revolution, so there is no data to suggest it will continue to increase in the future..."

and i can't criticize marathons as being unnatural for the human body, because, "never has a less true statement been uttered; humans are the best long distance runners in all the animal kingdom, & although cheetahs may run at 60mph, they can only travel half a mile at such such speeds..."

i can't even talk about my roots without being corrected, because apparently my hometown, east lyme, was NOT named after lyme disease-- lyme disease was only recently discovered in the past couple decades. the illness is, in fact, named for my hometown. whoops.

i'm not a numbers kind of girl. i can't quote studies about decline in happiness after having children, & i can't tell you the difference between lenox & windows 7 computer processors.

(okay actually i can, after tonight's dinner conversation. but who cares? i'm a loyal mac fan anywho.)

honestly, i can't even name all 50 state capitals. go with what you feel has been my personal motto for years.

my parents don't seem terribly disappointed in me. i'm not failing out of college. hell, i even read books for FUN. so why do i keep feeling like i should just keep my stupid mouth shut?

5 comments: said...

amen. it's like you're channeling my innermost thoughts, with more eloquence.
except, i had these thoughts when i was around you amy. don't let it get you down, i think you're brilliant.

Jesse Manscilll said...

1) i miss you.
2) You are way smart; at least smarter than me.
3) Come to Provo, it's not that bad.
Love, Jesse

Sarah Jensen said...

Try being married to Matt for a week--I can relate! You and I share this similar phenomenon in common, the smart-but-moderately-lazy gene. The lack of information has been building up for years (though I knew about Lyme Disease--seriously Ames, think about it--everywhere in our neck of the woods was named after somewhere that already existed in Britain or something Native American). Worry about knowing what really matters (the gospel), and the rest doesn't seem so important . . . besides, as it turns out, the majority of the world is actually VERY DUMB. Bonus for our self-esteem! :) Love and miss you! -S

Amy Hanson said...

haha thanks guys for your reassuring me of my intelligence! i'm reading books like mad here tryna to get smarter. we'll see if it works. these kids are jeopardy types though. full of random knowledge profitable only on television game shows. maybe i'll just start scouring wikipedia before i go to bed each night.

i've actually thought about matt since i've been out here-- more because i doubt a lot of the "facts" that i'm hearing & i wish matt were here to pull out his iphone and google the truth, haha. i love you & miss you too sistah!!

amy k said...


haha. oh the joys of india :)