Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Smarter Today

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?

9 comments:

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with biorhythms, which I remember from psycology. Emotional, intellectual, physical. After entering my birthdate and checking mine online (you can do this on several sites), my emotional line is up and my phsyical and intellectual lines are down. This is all too scary because I have not run in about two months, I feel dumb (like you yesterday), and my heart has been fluttering faster the last couple of weeks. I kind of believe in it.

DebraLSchubert said...

First of all, belated congrats on your 100th. If you ask me, you don't look a day over 99!

And, yes, every day is a crapshoot. Some days I wake up feeling energetic and brilliant, while (many) other days I feel sluggish, stupid, and sleepy. Today is a good day for me as well. I just finished my daily 1,000 on my WIP, and I'm about to head out the gym. Seriously! If only we could figure out a way to bottle these brilliant, energetic days up and replace them on the shelves cluttered with sluggish, stupid, sleepy days. Hmmm. (Maybe we should run it by Alex Trebek?)

Kelly said...

I have those days too and it usually correlates to how much/little sleep and stress I have experienced in that time period.
I learned a new word today: Schwag.
My mom taught us a new word a few days ago: wenis - the rough skin on your elbow. Yeah, the kids had a field day with that one.
I made them to promise me they wouldn't say it at school (just in case the teachers aren't as enlightened as my mom)!
I will not be teaching my mom the word schwag though. She may just say it in front of my children!

Trisha Pearson said...

I'm so relieved to know that someone else experiences smart days and dumb days! I experience these brain ups and downs all the time. I'm thinking this phenomenon might be sleep related because I didn't sleep well last night and I'm definitely having a dumb day.

Enjoy your smart day!

Ello said...

Well, being a pig, I believe it has everything to do with what you eat. D foods make you dumb - like donuts, ding dongs, dinner, etc. Aw shoot now I'm hungry!

Anita said...

Oh, goody! We have something in common! Prepare for fast rambling....

Post-childbirth, I have dumb days for about six weeks. So...I have to believe the dumb day/smart day has to have something to do with a good night's sleep. BUT...I know a lot of FedEx pilots who fly in the middle of the night all the time and they seem to have mostly smart days (which is great for those of us on the ground who do not want to be awakened by packages on our heads). One cup of coffee is helpful. Two just makes me crabby. Diet cola of any kind completely shuts down my brain (stay away from the stuff). One beer makes me very smart. Two beers makes me goofy. Three beers makes me pass-out. Early morning writing is my absolute best. If I force myself out of bed and to the computer at five, I totally rock. When I'm slightly chilled, I write better. And I have lots of other things which I think may help, but which I do not wish to share in a public forum. And...I pretty much like any word which starts with sch (as in schwag, not school). So there.

Monica said...

i think you mean swag.

Paul Michael Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Michael Murphy said...

Swag and schwag are both acceptable. I'd provide links, but I'm sure my google works just as well as yours.

However, I do thank you for attempting to point out an error. Murphblog errors cannot be allowed to stand.