Arbitrary authority.

Ahhh productivity was shot to shit. I think I don’t actually know what that word means, to be honest. It’s as if the days pass by much too fast. Like when you’re a kid and it seems like the days just go on and on, but now that I’m an adult, it’s the opposite.

pg. 40 of A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates, first published by the Rand Corporation in 1955, with all zeros removed.(from // credits to the creator)

Here’s the funny thing, though. I don’t have a very good perception of time. Some people can tell how many minutes have passed, but not me. Same goes for days, especially years. Same goes for length and weight. I don’t know if it’s my sense of estimation or what, but I have absolutely no idea how to tell any of those.

To be clear, I can add and subtract them just fine. I know the differences and such. But if I asked how long something might be (get your minds out of the gutter), if you told be three meters, I would have no idea what that means. Oh, I just remembered temperature! I also can’t tell how hot a certain degree of Celsius it is. I suppose I’ve been doing better because it’s summer and I’ve been looking at my weather app more often to tell if tomorrow is going to be warmer than today. But just for the feel of it, I can’t tell.

To be fair, I don’t know if one’s supposed to tell. Like, there are questions that I’ve had since I was a kid that I just expected to be answered in school which weren’t, and therefore school is just a damn waste for me. I don’t remember much of anything I studied in elementary and high school, and just the bare minimum from college. That’s probably around 2 million pesos down the drain. But since I can’t even estimate just how much it cost for me to study, I wouldn’t count on those numbers (…no pun intended?)

I have a general idea why I can’t tell these numbers. They’re mostly imaginary, or more accurately, arbitrary measurements. These numbers have been assigned to each of these units throughout history. They don’t actually mean anything. Or they might, but only as much as humans have assigned meaning to them. And this is not to be philosophical or anything, these things just never attached themselves on my brain. Kid me didn’t want to talk about imaginary things. I wanted to talk about who came up with the word “egg”.

(Here is where I got distracted by my wallpaper, which I’d recently changed to another picture of Kyoukai no Kanata. If you don’t know what that is, omfg you are missing out. It’s an anime series that you absolutely must watch, and after you do, please hit me up because I am still overflowing with feels, years after I finished it. My wallpaper’s been Kyoukai no Kanata for a while, but I changed it to another picture, and this is a bit more emotional and I cannot.)

Now, where was I…? Oh, there’s another thing that I wanted to learn when I was a kid! Music. I don’t know how to read notes, despite having drawn a staff and those damned dots on those damned lines all that time during grade school. It wasn’t until late in high school that I realized that other kids who had a music subject in school—basically everybody—had to play an instrument. Y’know, to actually hear the notes the teachers insist you draw. Till now, I know what the notes are A till G only, no H. I remember because A sounds like H, but you stop before you finish saying H, so it’s A. I don’t know how notes can be flat, and I grew up under the impression that flat notes are bad, and that they should never ever be flat. Never having voiced that idea out loud, because it was never necessary, and since I never even knew how it sounded like, I only figured it out early into my adulthood. How messed up, right? And though notes are also quite arbitrary things we’ve assigned to the sounds instruments and throats make, they were the kind of arbitrary things I wanted to learn but didn’t.

I was taught that there were things that needed to be mentioned in a prayer, all the supplication, appreciation, forgiveness things, which I’ve expelled from my memory because it’s a waste of space. Can you believe that I actually had a professor in 4th year college that had graded our prayers accordingly? If you forgot one part, you get a minus on the total grade. Even for a notoriously Catholic university, it was obscene. It was hilarious, and I could barely contain my snark for that professor. Ahh, just thinking about it now is making me snicker and smile. That was sometime a year ago, and I was filled to the brim of teachers I just had no appreciation for. Goodness, how did I never get in trouble? How did I manage to, as Elsa did, keep it inside?

I suppose they weren’t worth getting in trouble for anyway, and I was quite happy with only myself to judge them. It was lonely at times, seeing all the other kids, and then teenagers, liking school and sucking up to the teachers. I’ve never enjoyed it.

But, me, you learned so much from school! Where would you be if you didn’t learn to read or write? Ask my mother, she’ll tell you I’ve been reading and writing before I stepped foot in kindergarten. And the only thing I remember from kindergarten was wanting to talk to my cousin, who the teacher transferred to other seats ALL THE TIME because I never stopped. Then I crawled under the tables to talk to her some more.

After all of that, one might think, “You just don’t like authority,” or “You just didn’t listen to your teachers.” And that would be correct. Because authority, although with its benefits, is also arbitrary. They aren’t even in charge because they’re older, they just say things in a certain tone that makes people listen. Without that tone, people don’t respect anyone, let alone trust their authority.

So at this point in time, I still can’t tell units of measurement from their respective temperatures, lengths, weights, time, etc., I still can’t read notes according to their sounds, and I still struggle to maintain my composure and wide-eyed, innocent appearance for persons of authority. It’s an absolute pain in the asses of my parents, I’m sure. But in the past week, I’ve been called bitchy, but brave. I should put that on a shirt. Bitchy, but brave. All day, every day.

Happy Friday.

PS: But seriously, what I would give to be able to comprehend, or at least have the patience to comprehend, mathematics.

I update every Monday-Wednesday-Friday-(and sometimes)Sunday night! I’m always present on social media, @thcynicalnerd on Instagram and Tumblr, @nerdTHEcynical on Twitter and Snapchat 🙂


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