List 3: Incomprehensible stuff

This blog is a set of posts responding to the Listography 2011 prompts. A group of bloggers are all doing them together. We are having fun with this, and you can join in, either through your own blog, which you can link using a widget at the site above or in the comment section.

Today’s prompt: Things that are beyond your grasp of understanding

  1. Why the listograpy 2011 person phrased the prompt like that.  Why not “things that are beyond your grasp” or “things that are beyond your understanding” or even “things beyond your grasp/understanding”? This prompt sets all my grammar crazy-buttons off.  Just sayin’.
  2. Physics. Almost anything about physics. I was a good student (actually, a really good student). I was great at math and science and did get an A in high school physics. But I don’t think that class was actually about physics in any meaningful way, and it didn’t motivate me to take more physics in college.  As a result, when reading the NYTimes Science section, which I otherwise am addicted to, I find my brain becoming mush as I read any of the physics articles. It depresses me. I feel like I should like and get this stuff. I just don’t. Or I do for a minute, but it doesn’t really stick. I did Richard Feynman’s lectures on tape, I think only the first set.  They were cool and interesting, but I can’t tell you anything he said.  I’m pretty sure that is also true about the Radical Political Theory course I took in undergrad a zillion years ago.  The difference is that if someone talked to me  about radical political theory at a party (like anyone talks about either of these things at parties… come to think of it, like my life contains any parties that are not centered around people turning 3 or 4 years old…, but anyway), I would not get totally lost and feel like a complete moron. Physics, on the other hand…  So if anyone has a really quick fun way to help me to feel like a physics idiot, please feel free to let me know!
  3. How I can lose one of a pair of gloves by about the 3rd time I’ve worn them. Probably has to do with black holes or quarks or some other physics thing I don’t get. But I’d be ok about talking about lost gloves at parties (Actually, that could really be a topic at the types of parties I’ve been a regular at lately).
  4. Why we as a species can do amazing things with science and art, but haven’t figured out how to stop trashing the planet, letting people starve and die of things that are easy to cure, and otherwise killing each other off in awful ways.
  5. How single parents do it.  Seriously.  I have an amazing (and I’m not just saying it cause he might read this) husband who actually pulls at least his share of the weight on the home front.  I have one energetic, but basically very easy toddler. There are still times (like tomorrow when we both have things at work at the same time that we shouldn’t cancel and when the toddler will presumably still be sick with whatever is still causing a fever tonight), that it is really hard to figure out how to make the logistics work. I have so much respect for the people that have something other than our rosy situation and still manage to maintain their sanity and raise good kids. I have respect, in fact, for people in many less rosy situations who simply survive. I really think that whole “it takes a village” thing is true.  And we aren’t a very villagey society anymore.

That will do for a start. I’m sure I’ll come up with more and do an update or something. What is beyond your grasp/understanding???

P.S. Mini Update:

Still haven’t thought of more books that made me cry, but I haven’t given up. Oh, maybe Bambi, but I can’t remember if that was the book or the movie. So still nothing else for certain.

About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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14 Responses to List 3: Incomprehensible stuff

  1. I love your list. It makes me feel better to know other educated people can’t grasp things like physics…do you think having babies is in part to blame? I think mine stole my brain cells 😉 and I bet my posts make your grammar buttons freak out!!!

    • Danielle, I can’t blame the baby, since I haven’t gotten physics for like 25 years, and the baby is only 3… And, nah, your posts don’t set me off. My grammar buttons aren’t that intense. My husband’s, on the other hand…

  2. Whoa! Number 5 is totally beyond my grasp too. I have so much respect for single parents.

  3. waitingforastart says:

    If I had to choose between a party for a 4 year-old and a party, where everybody’s idea of fun is discussing physics theories, it wouldn’t be a very hard choice. 🙂

    Physics I’m not so bad with, although it’s been a while, but the research methods and statistics at the moment are driving me into an absolute despair. It just feels like I’ll never get it.

    I really like your idea for this blog, as I have a weekness for lists myself.

    • Now, see, I actually used to TEACH stats and research methods. Maybe we should trade tutoring!!!

      • waitingforastart says:

        Who would ever want to teach stats and research? 🙂 If it’s anything like my class, all you have is a room full of students alternating between blank stares and utter despair, not understanding one single thing. (ok, I’m exaggerating, some of my friends are disgustingly good at it.)

        Sorry, my research course is the bane of my existence at the moment. :(I just can’t seem to get it.

    • One of my former students in GA actually just posted this on her facebook status: “I’m thinking of taking a stats class… for fun. Any suggestions on where I could do that?” I’m suspecting your prof just isn’t all that good at teaching the stuff. Humor is absolutely critical–examples that crack the class up and are memorable…

  4. Good Morning.
    I saw your post in Blogging Buddies and I would love to become buddies. I find your lists quiet motivational.
    -Raven Green

  5. I love your writing style, and your creative responses.

    I thought the same thing for number 1! And physics=complete brain MUSH for me as well:).

    Yes, being a parent is not easy… at all! I wish people could grasp this that have kids before they are ready (not that one is ever *truly ready). But until they go through it themselves they don’t really get it. My mom was a single parent, and I constantly wonder, how she did it.

    • Tori, thanks for the compliment! I was really amused that we all had physics and space stuff in our lists. About the parenting, I had my daughter at 43, so it was definitely not impulsive, but I still remember looking at the little positive test result and thinking, “wow, I hope I really want to do this, cause now it’s really happening!” Definitely no regrets, but boy am I tired!!!

  6. Ok, I love physics, but can’t say I understand a fraction of what I have read about it(I did well in school also, but hey Einstein did poorly), but it is so cool to think about. I totally agree with you about #5, how do single parents do it? My guess is they have no choice.
    Great list!

  7. I love your lists! Making me want to start some lists of my own!

  8. Jenn says:

    Since becoming a parent I’ve started volunteering to watch single friends’ children for a night to give them a break. Lord knows there’s some days where I can’t wait for the hubs to come home so I can disappear into the bathroom for a few minutes of not being pulled on or whined at. I can’t imagine not having that luxury either!

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