I listened to a school lecture about memory work. In fourth grade, we memorize population and electoral college data for the largest states (by population). When asked, our director said that this was information that had come up in conversation in her life and was embarrassed not to know. Same for the population and square mileage data for the continents.
This is not my life.
So, I asked my husband about it. “Yeah, that hasn’t come up for me either.”
“Should we replace it with something more useful?”
I asked him what that material might be. I was thinking plant identification. Periodic table. Town mayor, state senators, legislatures…nope. “I want them to know all the major football teams by location, mascots, how they’re doing this year, and any well-known quarterbacks. Also, in March, they should know the top basketball teams in the brackets.”
My husband is not sporty. He plays….nothing. I asked him why. “I have to relate to adults that I only see twice a year. I have to teach them things they don’t want to know. I have to correct things they don’t want to change. Sports is the great equalizer. No matter what your race, religion, sex, or socio-economic level, you either follow a team or are married to someone who follows a team. If I can engage that person, they relax and anything I need to do or say happens more easily because I am less of an outsider.”
He’s not wrong, right? If you want to make sure you can engage any adult and make friends, you have to talk sports and be their friend. You can’t be obsessed with one team. You like the Cowboys? HOW can you support the Cowboys when they blah, blah, and so on. Nope. Impersonal knowledge of major sports is where it’s at.
So, I didn’t replace their memory work yet, but we’ve already baptized me into the tribe. Hubby buys me sports t-shirts (he says wearing the underdogs give you credibility; everyone supports a winner, lame) and I am regularly briefed on the teams I wear. It’s amazing. People talk to me all the time. I had a whole pack of staff at Goodwill rush me because, “People wearing a San Francisco shirt shouldn’t have to lift their own bags.”