Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Imagined Smarts

As a child storyteller, I told fanciful tall tales about large homes, massive grounds, tunnels that could circumnavigate the globe, and brilliant children.

Occasionally, they had parents.

If they did have parents, their mom and dad were sure to be good parents. If my story children did not have parents, they would be sad and mournful while happily living successful lives with some dismissive uncle. They thrived wherever they were put, and, regardless of formal or informal education, good teachers or bad teachers, my characters were smarter than smart.

Alicia, Rose, Alex, John, Alice…they all studied very hard or very well or for a very long time – and they loved it. Whether they lived in boarding schools or were homeschooled, my children were always at the top of their classes. It was so easy to say that Alicia (or whoever else was my current star) studied diligently all day.

If I needed her to have fun, I just made her wake up the next day with the grand idea to have friends over to play in her mansion or walk in the beautiful gardens she had spent tireless hours working in (with the help of a few gardeners). You never lived to hear tell of sweat, dirty hands, or failed crops. You never heard her puzzle over a difficult math equation. I planned her work in a moment, and it was over in a sentence – a paragraph at most. Alicia was ready for some new adventure.

It was easy for my story children to work faster and harder than anyone you ever met.

Now, years after I have outgrown the fanciful tales I used to entertain myself, brother, and sister, I find myself needing to study harder than ever before on a long list of subjects that take more than my imagination. I can’t say, “Elizabeth went to her school room and studied diligently all afternoon.” and call that enough. I have to Study and be Quiet (yes, pun intended).

Studying is hard work. It is harder than a story, but it is much better. I am a real person spending real time making real sacrifices and needing real help, so I can achieve a goal I feel called to achieve. So, what am I waiting for? Back to the books!


Susanna Moore said...

I still remember when we would stay up past our bedtime, and you would tell these stories for what seemed like hours. I loved it! You had a very vivid imagination...still do :)

Melanie said...

ahhh, how right you are about studying being real! How I wish it was as easy as you wrote it! :)