Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flattery will absolutely work

I've come to a critical realization in my life today: I am influenced by flattery. It wasn't a stunning revelation, I'd had my suspicions for months. However, today's evidence proves it conclusively.

I was sitting in my Evolutionary Biology class minding my own business when my professor started to talk about a super exciting topic: stick bugs. Don't judge me too hastily, they are cool. Since you aren't science geeks I'm not going to try and explain why. They just are. He asked the class a specific and difficult question about their development and I knew the answer. It was one of those moments where my brain was working at peak efficiency and I reached the answer before he even asked the question. Cue "Pomp and Circumstance"...

Time slowed down as my teacher said "Very good! In all my time teaching this class I've never had anyone answer that question as effectively and completely as you just did. So, good job." Applause broke out as I waved my hand and thanked my admirers...Okay, the teacher did say all that, but...maybe the music and the applause was only in my head. I left my class that day feeling like the nerd version of a million bucks. I had answered the teacher's "Expert" level question.

The teacher that mere moments before I'd been thinking was disorganized and repetitive was now on my Christmas list. How?! Flattery my friends. I'd actually been thinking about the review I was going to write for his class and the points I was going to give poor marks, and then he asked that question and I folded like a lawn chair.

On the plus side, now I know what to tell interviewers when they ask me what weaknesses I have. "I care to much" was becoming a bit unbelievable.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Christmas Controversy

There is just something about Mormons, and possibly with people in general - maybe I've been in Utah too long - where they start playing Christmas music whenever they want to. Most of these free-thinkers start playing Christmas music November 1st. Since Lehi was right about opposition in all things, there's a counter-current that believes playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving is borderline sacrilege. As a free-thinker I chafe at categorization...but I listen to Christmas music whenever it tickles my fancy.

There are times in the middle of a beautiful summer where I pull out my Josh Groban Christmas CD and listen to a few of my favorites. Why? Because I can. There are also occasions when I think watching Elf and The Grinch are great activities regardless of the month. Similarly, I believe reading A Christmas Carol is suitably uplifting for any season. For the record, I'm sure Charles Dickens agrees with me.

So, to all those who vocally or silently groan when they hear me playing Josh Groban, Bing Crosby, or even John Denver and the Muppets Christmas albums: I don't actually care what you think. To all the free-thinkers out there who listen to Christmas music whenever they feel like it, I salute you.

So, whether you think it's too early or whether you are secretly listening to "Silver Bells" while you study, Happy Holidays!