1.27.2008

I can!

This is in response to a challenge from AidelMaidel.

The rules are simple:

  • You have 15 minutes and 15 minutes only. Time yourself.
  • No making changes once the list is completed beyond correcting spelling mistakes.
  • Be honest. It's okay if it's silly or strange or weird or disconcerting.
  • Resist the urge to explain yourself. Wait and see what other people will ask you to explain after they read your list.
I don't know if I can resist the urge to explain myself, but I will try!
  1. I can type 90+ words a minute.
  2. I can curl my tongue up into a tube or into what we used to call a three-leaf clover. I think some others call it a flower.
  3. I can understand fluent spoken Modern Hebrew.
  4. I can speak Modern Hebrew semi-fluently.
  5. I can spot a misplaced comma or a sentence fragment in the middle of a bunch of prose in a millisecond.
  6. I can write long, articulate blog posts in under 30 minutes. (I think they are articulate; you think they are long. At least one of these things is true.)
  7. I can change a diaper.
  8. I can learn mishna in Hebrew, usually with the aid of Kehati.
  9. I can make a very yummy lasagna and sneak all kinds of healthy things like tofu and wheat germ into it without anyone being the wiser.
  10. I can make a good tofu stir-fry.
  11. I can do very well on standardized tests involving analogies, reading comprehension, writing, correcting grammatical errors, and logic. (At least, I could six years ago, the last times I took a practice standardized test. I think I still could, although I haven't taken a real standardized test in probably ten years.)
  12. I can walk two miles to work without feeling like it's far.
  13. I can last indefinitely without caffeine.
  14. I can enjoy an 80% cocoa dark chocolate bar without finding it too bitter for words.
  15. I can wiggle my ears.
  16. I can play hopscotch.
  17. I can jump on a Pogo ball (although I haven't done so in probably eighteen years or so, and it probably couldn't support my weight at the moment, so maybe I should remove this one).
  18. I can plan and execute an enjoyable commencement ceremony for eight adult learners.
  19. I can give a rousing commencement speech written on the day of commencement.
  20. I can wash dishes really, really well the first time. (No oil residue, no bits of food left on them, including outsides of pots, handles, covers to things.)
  21. I can sleep for 10-12 hours on a Friday night.
  22. I can write and edit a 24-page course catalog.
  23. I can write an essay on prosbul and heter mechira by finding the appropriate gemaras, learning them, and consulting various secondary and tertiary sources.
  24. I can ride a bicycle.
  25. I can wear jeans to work on Fridays.
  26. I can reach things at the front of the third shelf in my kitchen cabinets without standing on a chair.
  27. I can build a bed from raw lumber.
  28. I can operate an electric drill.
  29. I can operate an electric circular saw.
  30. I can operate an electric sander.
  31. I can get a screw out of a hole even if it's been totally stripped from the inside.
  32. I can use a vise grip.
  33. I can fix the couch I inherited from my grandmother with a drill, a wooden dowel, and some wood glue.
  34. I can use wood filler.
  35. I can sand wood.
  36. I can stain wood.
  37. I can get friends to travel far to help me build a bed.
  38. I can do my own taxes without the use of tax software, even when Schedule C and two different states are involved.
  39. I can walk up to the sixteenth floor for a Shabbat meal.
  40. I can make a really yummy green salad.
  41. I can make microwave popcorn.
  42. I can keep my houseplants alive for eight years running (African violet and philodendron, purchased at the beginning of my sophomore year of college).
  43. I can travel alone in Brazil.
  44. I can take pretty pictures.
  45. I can paint flowers, mountains, birds, and fish with watercolors, using Japanese painting techniques. (At least, I could from the ages of 7-14. Haven't painted in about 13 years, though. Wonder if it's a skill you lose?)
  46. I can make things out of Fimo or Sculpy.
  47. I can do quite well at the game Taboo.
  48. I can supervise a five-year-old on the playground and join in her fantasy games.
  49. I can daven weekday mincha by heart.
  50. I can write a 116 page senior thesis on women college students during World War I, and their changing attitudes towards the war and towards woman suffrage that receives a grade of magna cum laude.
That's it. Out of time!

What can you do?

2 comments:

mama o' the matrices said...

that was fun! And how do you get a stripped screw out?

ALG said...

You get a vise grip around its head, lock it, and turn it. I had to do this quite often when I was learning how to use a power drill as an electric screwdriver. I stripped the insides of the first bunch of screws that I screwed in (before they were all the way screwed in). Vise grips are incredibly useful. It can also come in handy for getting even a non-stripped screw out of or into a space that's too small or awkwardly shaped for a screwdriver. I learned about them from a hardware store employee and then inherited my grandfather's.

I actually didn't enjoy this exercise at all. Each time I wrote an "I can..." sentence I thought of all of the things that I cannot do. And, lo, but the list is long! Reading through my list, and others', also highlighted for me all the ways in which I am not where I wanted to be or thought I would be at 28.