Author Topic: s/o adults should know this - retrospectively obvious things you've just learned  (Read 113767 times)

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Jones

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Americans mostly don't learn much geography (I don't know whether people in other countries do better). I remember a survey some years back, of either high school students or adults, where something like 45% of the Americans asked could not answer "name a country near the Pacific Ocean."

This makes me weep. When I was in high school, I was informed I would not graduate unless I took a World Geography course. Unfortunately, the only one that would be offered during the amount of time I had to take it was the summer before my senior year. So I took summer school, with a surprisingly large class, and learned an awful lot that has actually helped me quite a bit as I read history or watched the news.

WillyNilly

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I simply said that I felt an adult should know that basics of the most popular sports in their culture.  It is a matter of cultural literacy. That is all.  Such as, how many points is a goal in soccer?  How many innings in a basic baseball game?  Or, an easier question about baseball--how many points is a run?


How many points is a goal in soccer - no idea.
How many innings in a basic baseball game - 7?
How many points in a run in baseball - no idea.

I absolutely agree adults should know the basics about the popular sports in their area. I disagree the level of detail you are listing is basic. I have been to baseball games - at least 10 in the last 20 years and I'm not sure how many innings in a basic game (9 I think?... if the team I'm rooting for isn't winning by 7th we usually leave - because the detail I know is the one that's important to me: no beer after the 7th inning!) And I don't know how many points (are they called "points in baseball"? I seem to recall being rebuffed over that word) a run garners (I assume 1).

Basic info is: my local teams are the Mets and Yankees. Baseball is played by two teams at time, each with a bunch of players. They use a bat to hit a ball and then they run. Its generally a "summer" sport. beer and hotdogs are associated with the sport. The subways are hella crowded on game days.

Basic soccer info is: its played on a soccer field. The ball is kicked not handled by hand. Its more popular everywhere else then it is in the US.

Basic football info is: the field is used as a common reference measurement (although a meaningless one to me). Its called "football" but the players tend to carry the ball. The ball is not round. People get tackled. Football payers tend to be very big guys. It more of a winter sport, some families combine it with Thanksgiving.

jmarvellous

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Former sports editor chiming in here: You certainly don't HAVE to know sports stuff, cursory or detailed, to get by. But (speaking as someone who knew less than a typical sports-hater when she got the job), it can't hurt to be able to converse with a sports nut on a superficial level.  I never realized how much sports talk is all around me until I gained some fluency around the subject.
This one stinks if you're on the wrong side of it, but it is upsettingly common to have sports be something of a boys' club gateway. Just pretending you know what's going on can: allow you to steer the conversation in a new direction eventually,  get you an 'in' with a jocular boss, or set up an excuse to keep checking in with someone ("How bout those Spurs? ... and how about that TPS report?").

I will never love sports, but I do think being able to "appreciate" them is a cultural asset.

My real contribution: "Based on a true story" does NOT mean "documentary"! Tom Hanks did not go to space. Russell Crowe is not a brilliant mathematician. Et cetera. You'd be surprised!

cabbageweevil

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Former sports editor chiming in here: You certainly don't HAVE to know sports stuff, cursory or detailed, to get by. But (speaking as someone who knew less than a typical sports-hater when she got the job), it can't hurt to be able to converse with a sports nut on a superficial level. 
Being a bit unkind here -- but who needs to actually converse with a sports nut?  People with great passions in life, tend to "monologise" joyously, and not to need or wish for input from anyone else. Just wind 'em up and watch 'em go !

lowspark

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Former sports editor chiming in here: You certainly don't HAVE to know sports stuff, cursory or detailed, to get by. But (speaking as someone who knew less than a typical sports-hater when she got the job), it can't hurt to be able to converse with a sports nut on a superficial level.  I never realized how much sports talk is all around me until I gained some fluency around the subject.
This one stinks if you're on the wrong side of it, but it is upsettingly common to have sports be something of a boys' club gateway. Just pretending you know what's going on can: allow you to steer the conversation in a new direction eventually,  get you an 'in' with a jocular boss, or set up an excuse to keep checking in with someone ("How bout those Spurs? ... and how about that TPS report?").

I will never love sports, but I do think being able to "appreciate" them is a cultural asset.

My real contribution: "Based on a true story" does NOT mean "documentary"! Tom Hanks did not go to space. Russell Crowe is not a brilliant mathematician. Et cetera. You'd be surprised!

LOL about the bolded. There's a movie starring Hillary Swank called Iron Jawed Angels which depicts the horrer that the suffragettes endured in trying to get American women the right to vote. My sister and I, after watching it, kept joking that we had no idea how Hillary Swank had to suffer* just so we could vote.

*In reality, neither of us really did have any idea how those women (real women) suffered, physically and mentally. Which sort of does fall into the category of things you should know but don't -- in this case, though, because it's simply not taught in school. I recommend the movie to anyone who doesn't bother voting. Once you see how much it meant to these women and how much the endured to gain that right, it'll make you want to vote.

Piratelvr1121

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I think it's sad that some American elementary schools no longer teach cursive.  My oldest son has beautiful penmanship (he's 12 and going into 7th) but my 10 1/2 year old is going into fifth and they didn't teach it to him at all in school.   I'm seriously considering getting a workbook to teach him at home.  Even if he never uses it, he ought to be able to at least read it.   

I have a hard time making myself write in print.  Even if I start out printing it turns into cursive by the end of the sentence.  Even my lists are in cursive.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Snooks

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This was a while ago but...

I honestly never knew which finger a wedding/engagement ring went on (obviously they can go wherever, but left ring finger is tradition here) until we were talking about buying one and I had to be sized. Oh, and I thought you wore the engagement ring on one hand and switched it after marriage (which, as it turns out, is tradition in some places/cultures, but not ours).

My then-fiance was astounded -- apparently it's standard to check a person's hand before flirting if you are a single, conscientious person of an age where people are as likely to be married as not.

On the subject of rings, I was at least late teens, early 20s before I found out that it was common for married women to wear both an engagement ring and a wedding ring.  I believed that you got an engagement ring when engaged, then traded it in for a wedding ring.  (Mom never had an engagement ring, but I knew they were a thing so naturally I assumed she traded it in.)

I once listened to a guy go on a long rant about how much people spend on engagement rings - which was his POV, fine, it's not an issue I care about - but then he finished up with "and then they only wear it for a few months until they get married!"

Apparently he really thought that people would spend $$$ on a diamond solitaire, only to take it off and lock in in a cupboard forever once the wedding was over!  Trying not to look too amused, I told him that many woman wear both rings and pointed out a few examples right around us.   I'm not sure I convinced him that a $$$ engagement ring was a good idea, but at least I calmed his outrage a bit.

<splutter> Really?! Wow. I don't think I've known anyone who stopped wearing theirs after the wedding. Most did bridal sets, and the few who didn't wear their engagement ring on the right hand now.

My mom.  I've never seen her wear her engagement ring.  She never liked it, didn't want one, but dad insisted.

Jones

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This was a while ago but...

I honestly never knew which finger a wedding/engagement ring went on (obviously they can go wherever, but left ring finger is tradition here) until we were talking about buying one and I had to be sized. Oh, and I thought you wore the engagement ring on one hand and switched it after marriage (which, as it turns out, is tradition in some places/cultures, but not ours).

My then-fiance was astounded -- apparently it's standard to check a person's hand before flirting if you are a single, conscientious person of an age where people are as likely to be married as not.

On the subject of rings, I was at least late teens, early 20s before I found out that it was common for married women to wear both an engagement ring and a wedding ring.  I believed that you got an engagement ring when engaged, then traded it in for a wedding ring.  (Mom never had an engagement ring, but I knew they were a thing so naturally I assumed she traded it in.)

I once listened to a guy go on a long rant about how much people spend on engagement rings - which was his POV, fine, it's not an issue I care about - but then he finished up with "and then they only wear it for a few months until they get married!"

Apparently he really thought that people would spend $$$ on a diamond solitaire, only to take it off and lock in in a cupboard forever once the wedding was over!  Trying not to look too amused, I told him that many woman wear both rings and pointed out a few examples right around us.   I'm not sure I convinced him that a $$$ engagement ring was a good idea, but at least I calmed his outrage a bit.

<splutter> Really?! Wow. I don't think I've known anyone who stopped wearing theirs after the wedding. Most did bridal sets, and the few who didn't wear their engagement ring on the right hand now.

My mom.  I've never seen her wear her engagement ring.  She never liked it, didn't want one, but dad insisted.
We couldn't afford two rings so my engagement ring is my wedding ring. A few years later DH bought me an anniversary ring; that's the only ring I wear now.

Piratelvr1121

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My engagement ring doesn't fit me anymore. I still have it though.  Gold band, heart shaped sapphire surrounded by diamond chips.  It looks like a small version of the Heart of the Ocean from Titanic.  Yeah, I got engaged in '98, about 6 months after Titanic was released and always loved it. :)

I  have big knuckles, I guess, I have to get my rings big enough to go over them but then once they're where they belong they tend to slip around my fingers.  It doesn't fit with my wedding ring which is a gold claddagh so I never did wear them on the same finger.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

kckgirl

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When we first began discussing the arrow next to the fuel indicator in our cars to show which side the gasoline goes in, I didn't know about it and checked the car the next morning. It was a rental because my car had been rear-ended and was in the body shop for repairs. After I got my car back this week, I checked to find no arrow. It's a 2005 Honda. I was kind of disappointed.
Maryland

ladyknight1

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DH and I were poor when we decided to get married, so we put a loose diamond on layaway (in the mid 1990's). When it was paid off, we decided to get a simple diamond crossover band and I have worn it since our wedding day in 1997. I have a sterling silver claddagh and Celtic knot band I wear as an anniversary ring with a diamond eternity band. I only wear rings that have a solitaire stone when out at a social event, because I don't like things catching on them.

Jocelyn

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My DH is very good about explaining things without making me feel like a moron, but I can't quite wrap my head around "downs".
A 'down' is called that, because a team has the chance to move the ball until it is down on the ground, firmly placed there by a player. Running off the side of the field also 'downs' a ball. If someone drops the ball, or kicks the ball, and it is bouncing around on the turf, not under the control of either team, it is still in play until a player 'downs' it. For example, at the beginning of the game, when one team kicks off the ball, the other team can catch the ball and run with it hoping to score, or they can kneel down immediately upon catching it to maintain the field position they have. This is what you want to do if a bunch of the players from the opposing team are running at you, and you're afraid you might get pushed backwards. :) The players on the team which kicked off are running down the field as fast as they can, in hopes of surrounding the bouncing ball and keeping their opponents from downing it, because the ball might bounce several yards more, which is all in their favor.

guihong

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My DH is very good about explaining things without making me feel like a moron, but I can't quite wrap my head around "downs".
A 'down' is called that, because a team has the chance to move the ball until it is down on the ground, firmly placed there by a player. Running off the side of the field also 'downs' a ball. If someone drops the ball, or kicks the ball, and it is bouncing around on the turf, not under the control of either team, it is still in play until a player 'downs' it. For example, at the beginning of the game, when one team kicks off the ball, the other team can catch the ball and run with it hoping to score, or they can kneel down immediately upon catching it to maintain the field position they have. This is what you want to do if a bunch of the players from the opposing team are running at you, and you're afraid you might get pushed backwards. :) The players on the team which kicked off are running down the field as fast as they can, in hopes of surrounding the bouncing ball and keeping their opponents from downing it, because the ball might bounce several yards more, which is all in their favor.

I've been a football fan all my life, and have to admit I didn't know the origins of "down", either  ::)

Cake, combine this post with the "chances to move the ball" explanation upthread :).



Jocelyn

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My parents were on vacation across the country.  They just happened to score tickets to a football game being held in a newly built stadium and their home province team was playing.  They were all set to cheer for their team when they looked around and realized they were surrounded in a sea of local team colours and wisely decide to cheer for the local team.   :D
My father went to a university football game with me. I had a student season ticket, and bought him a regular ticket. It was impossible for me to sneak into his section, so he came into the student section with me. The game was homecoming...his alma mater versus mine. And he wore his team colors, totally without thinking about it.
Did I mention that his alma mater was a powerhouse that year, and mine was miserable?
At one point I had to tell him to stop cheering for his team because he was about to get lynched by a bunch of drunk frat guys sitting behind us.  ::)

Jocelyn

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The thing that bothers me about the idea that the average adult "should" know various things about how sports are played and who the teams are and whatever else has been brought up in this thread is that, despite other examples of culture (popular or otherwise), the "should" thing doesn't come up for other things in nearly the same way it does for sports.
On the contrary, I would identify knowing what Lincoln Center or the Met to be as important as knowing the name of sports teams. Or knowing if your city has a symphony or opera or ballet company in residence. Knowing the difference between stringed, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. Recognizing the names Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Picasso, Monet, Rodin. Knowing what museums are available in your vicinity.

For example: my family are avid attenders of museums. We will go to a museum about anything, on the assumption that if someone thought this stuff was worth collecting, it's worth going to see. One year, my sister's in-laws took her children to another city on vacation, and when the kids came back, my mother was asking about the trip. Did they go to Historic Site A? No. What about B? No. C? D? E? (these are all sites where our parents took us when we visited). No. Finally, my mother asked, where DID you go? My nephew replied, 'We went to WalMart.'
This, in a nutshell, is the difference between the two families.  >:D