I’m fairly certain that I was in my second semester of my first year of college when I realized that it would be mentally impossible for me to remember every piece of information I was learning.
Since I wasn’t a math major, I learned theorems and then let them flow out of my head in order to make room for the next chapter of knowledge I was to be tested on.  That’s when It occurred to me that college was not an experience of permanently imbedding thousands of facts of information into my brain, but rather, an exercise in training me to, in life, efficiently and effectively, know where to go to find the knowledge I needed.
Yet, in today’s modern world whenever we have a question, all we need to do is ask our ever-handy mobile device, and, depending upon how clear we speak, receive an instant answer that resolves our query.  In essence, today’s youth do not need to wait until college for their training in knowledge procurement as they learn early on how to ask a computer-succinct questions in order to get instant answers.  So how come we can’t do this when asking a human being?
To further clarify this point, a few minutes ago a classmate called with a question about an assignment requirement. My classmate wanted to know if the additional assignment requirements needed to be incorporated into the research paper or included in a separate attachment.
Rather than just asking the question, however, my classmate did what most people do now when asking a rather simple question; he provided a run-on inquiry essay.  This type of essay typically begins with a purpose statement which alludes to the question, but does not precisely ask the question “I’m calling because I was wondering about our assignment …” It is only in the next paragraph that the question begins to surface, except that before I have an opportunity to answer, politely waiting for the pause in the conversation which should be representative of the question mark, he keeps on talking, beginning the self-answer portion of the inquiry essay.  “Do you think we will have to submit all of the documents in a zip file or does the professor want them on an individual basis because I looked at a submission from 3 years ago and it looks like that’s how it was ….”
It is at this point in the inquiry essay that I begin to mentally check-out of the conversation thinking to myself “Why ask me if you are just going to have a debate with yourself?” Given that I am socially polite person, I wait patiently for the real inquiry essay question to emerge, which is almost always, “What do you think?”
If I were responding in Google my answer would be as direct as the initial question should have been … “I think you should have called someone else.”
Alexa? Alexa?
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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