The Eighth Page

Knowledge is a Disease

I had an epiphany over spring break as I shopped for my fresh term’s worth of erasable pens and colored note cards: this revelation has changed my whole outlook on life and will probably change yours due to my inherent gift for persuasion. It was a normal day as I roamed Wal-Mart. I watched screaming kids demand that they have the newest season of Desperate Housewives and elderly women race down aisle five on their kart scooters. I was having a hard time finding my favorite accordion folders, so I decided to ask an employee for help. The very kind, blue vested man replied, “There are no folders of that type that I can think of.” And there it was, a preposition at the end of what I thought would be a grammatically accurate sentence, and the beginning of an inner struggle. It took every ounce of my will power not to correct this man who was only trying to satisfy my peculiar need for organization. He didn’t know that prepositions never end a sentence, but I did. My knowledge made me feel like a minority that didn’t quite belong, like I was too different to happily live in a world where a select few could understand my love for existentialism and quantum mechanics. Why was I always feeling so, in the words of mommy, “special?” And then it hit me. Like a tidal wave of Mountain Dew Code Red, the source of my problems hit me. The answer to my dilemma was the answer to another question: what was the reason for my engorged brain? ANDOVER. I have come to the totally legitimate conclusion that Andover has made me too smart to be a sane member of society. Things like History 340, Spike Lee’s ASM and cluster sports have given me a plethora of knowledge and experience that far surpasses that of most people, turning me into a freak to the average Joe. My extensive vocabulary intimidates most people I meet and I find it necessary to blurt out answers to Jeopardy in public settings. My surplus of brainpower was epitomized at a party I went to back home. My friend left me alone with a few people I had never met and an awkward silence was forming. To get things going, I said, “So what do you guys think was the main reason for Napoleon’s demise at the Battle of Waterloo? I guess he came up a little short.” I snickered as the other adolescents looked at me in confusion and slight terror. I was scarred and knew that I could never lead a normal life because of an education I had willingly accepted for almost four years. I was self-destructively paying to become a freak. The only comfort I had was that there were 1100 students just like me, most likely facing the same obstacles. And that is why I am writing this article. I want to address this problem in hopes of helping those who have not fully fallen into this academic trap of social awkwardness. Learn from my demise and avoid learning-inducing activities including, but not limited to; watching Cash Cab, taking classes above the 300 level, watching the news, etc. When all else fails, read Features to lose a few extra brain cells. Gary Pallowitz is a four-year Senior from the Yukon.