If you're anything like me, you have smart days and dumb days. I can usually tell what kind of day it's going to be pretty quickly. There are three primary indicators:
1. Words (good ones) and descriptions (original ones) come to me easier. In the shower this morning, I was thinking of how I'm going to introduce author James Kennedy for The Order of Odd-Fish Week (starting Sunday night). James is a talented fellow. He's done lots of stuff. And I think he's only 36. So I was running things through my mind and came up with this:
Like bags of schwag at the Oscars, Kennedy's thirty-six years have been jam-packed with good stuff.
Now I have no idea if that even makes sense, but I think it sounds pretty sweet. (And then, being anal about words and such, I googled "bag of schwag" and found this. But really, that is not what I mean.)
Also, words like "mollify" and "assuage" and "virtuoso" have popped into my head this morning. So, I can tell it's going to be a smart day.
2. What I say while teaching sounds better. Some days I stumble all over myself and say "uhh" more than the President. Other days, the stuff that comes out of my mouth should be flipping written down for posterity (or maybe a book on teaching). It's eloquent, at times poignant, at others humorous; sometimes it's damn near poetic. (These are the parts the students don't understand, but they make me feel like a smarty-pants and really, don't you want your child to be taught by someone who feels good about himself?)
3. Jeopardy--You know how some nights you'll watch Jeopardy and you know that you know the answers to the questions (or questions to the answers, but that's confusing)but your mouth can't extract them from your chaotically organized gray matter in the given amount of time and then some geek is saying the answer while you're all, "Uh, uh, wait! I know it!"?
I have those nights all the time.
But then some days, you have yourself convinced that you should be on the show, that you are the next Ken Jennings. You're answering the question before Alex is done reading it. You're mocking the stupid contestants for not knowing what you do, despite their fancy-schmantz Ivy League education, their frankly frightening knowledge of Romanian royalty, and the fact that the highlight of their life is apparently the time they said something kind of embarrassing to the woman they would eventually marry because the rest of their life has been spent in a library carrel learning everything there is to learn. I have days like that, too. Not many, but there are days. Today will probably be one, if things don't change.
But they might, and that's my question for you today (he says, as if he regularly asks you questions). I would really love to know what makes me smarter (and by that I mean, what makes my brain work faster). Yesterday, I was dumb. Today, I'm not as dumb. Why? Does it have to do with diet, or sleep, or exercise, or being visited by the smart fairy and her little bedazzled bag of pink dust in the dead of night? Is it just plain luck? Or, am I the only one who experiences this and should therefore check myself into an asylum? What say you, Murphblog followers?