A Fan Boy For Life

“Why is it trivia? People call it trivia because they know nothing and they are embarrassed about it.”
Robbie Coltrane

A Fan Boy For Life

Urban Dictionary: fanboi Someone who is hopelessly devoted to something and will like anything associated with their particular thing.

In high school, my friends would buy the lastest album. We’d listen to all of the songs over and over. We knew about the band, who they’d played with before and even their past and education. Then, ready as can be, we’d attend the concert when the tour promoting that album came to town.

In college, my friends would by the lastest broadway musical. We’d listen to the songs over and over. Some of the more flamboyant friends would sing and act out the songs. We would pore over the album notes and discuss it. Then, ready as can be, when the show toured into our town, we’d attend the show.

My first year teaching at a college, I made a friend. He was also on the faculty and we’d meet every day in the cafeteria. Basketball fans, we’d buy the newspaper and go over the box scores and wonder about things like turnover to assist ratios. We knew a lot about basketball, stats, stars, Hall of Famers, heroes of the past decades and so on.

And then I had a Profound Moment though you might call it a Duh Moment. Why wasn’t I applying the same curiosity and enthusiasm to my field? I might know the facts but what about the trivia? If I knew the pioneers that broke ground in my area, why didn’t I know all about them? They should be my heroes!

From that day on, I did just that. I was curious and enthusiastic and I’d talk about my field with anyone who knew more than me (a lot of people!) until I became an expert in my world. I knew a lot. It made my classes richer and it made me richer too.

That same curiousity and enthusiasm has flowed over into anything else I might want to do or know; like Indian food or Loie Fuller or Yellowstone National Park. Thank goodness for my cellphone and IMDB!

I wanted to take this idea of being a fan boy to my students. They were taking classes because they were mandatory but, I assumed, because they wanted to get a degree in the field. I was largely met with blank stares as if it were an alien idea. How could they not approach their own schooling with curiosity and enthusiasm?

So many of our goals in life are to just get through it. The idea of Extra Credit for a class means extra work not extra interest. The jobs that we have, we do enough to do it well but could not imagine studying the background of the company, the mission statement and the history of the CEO. It would never occur to us to do that.

Maybe it is because we are always trying to move forward. We are trying to take the steps to succeed so that we can take the next step and then the next. To stop and inquire or wonder why or how it works can feel like a tangent instead of making our jobs richer.

We can be fan boys of our own lives. We can approach anything that we do as a Profound Learner. Be ready for some surprises! What you thought you knew and knew well might be challenging when seen in a different light. How awesome is that?


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