Today’s WordPress Prompt: By Heart — You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?
(I was nudged to post this by Judy at lifelessons.)
I was a “cool”¹ nerd growing up – an insatiable reader, gobbler of knowledge. During the evening, my favorite pastime was grabbing a random volume of our family’s beloved World Book Encyclopedia and settling onto the couch to read article after unrelated article. My sophomore² year in high school I (inexplicably) decided to memorize Pi to as many decimals as possible. My (pre-Google) research tools were limited, and I could only find the value to 50 significant digits – 49 decimal places. A fellow sophomore decided to match my feat, and he did. (Well done, Carl!) I finally found a book that listed the 50th decimal place. (Zero, if you’re curious.) (Still zero if you’re not curious.) So I knew Pi to 50 decimals; Carl only knew it to 49. I win!! (I only let Carl twist for a few days before bringing him up to full, 50-decimal speed.) Ah, yes. High school – the good ol’ daze.
Oh, and, yes – I did type the value of Pi above from memory! I’m not bothering to count the number of decimal places, but it’s short of the 50 I once knew. I wonder what other knowledge I had to suppress to keep those digits in my mind all this time.
¹ Yes, the quotes are necessary.
² Check out the etymology of sophomore. It applies so well here.