My husband Tom is the smartest person I know. Lots of people throw these kinds of platitudes around, but I’m serious. He remembers everything he learned in school, and I don’t mean college or grad school. He remembers science facts from middle school. He remembers the title of every book he was assigned to read all throughout his academic career. There are very few bodies of water or islands that he can’t identify, as well as tell you the military conflicts that settled who has sovereignty over them. He’s a superb writer, has excellent math skills, and has a deep understanding of the ancient Greeks and their literature. I tease him that high school football is the only thing that saved him from being a Class A nerd.
Aside from his book smarts, he has a good head on his shoulders for just basic common sense. This is aided by his sharp analytical skills. Over the course of our three decades together, he’s taught me a few things that I use on a daily basis; yes, these are things I should have been taught somewhere along the way, and maybe I was but wasn’t tuned in when it was presented to me. I always passed these on to my students, because while they are simple and basic, they are very helpful in everyday life. So, today, I pass them on to you. If you know them already, great! If you don’t know them, you can thank Tom!
Tom’s Truth #1: Maps
When looking for a state capital or the capital of a country on a map, look for the star. Texaco, which later merged with Chevron, trained American drivers to look for the star, the great big Texaco star! City and country capitals are usually marked with a star.
Tom’s Truth #2: Elevators
When in an elevator of a building with multiple floors above ground level as well as multiple levels of parking below ground, it can be confusing to find the button that will take you to the lobby. Sometimes it is marked with an “L”, sometimes a “G”, but it is more likely to be marked with, you guessed it, a star. This can be especially helpful in some countries like in the UK where the first floor is not actually the ground floor, but what we would call the second floor.
Tom’s Truth #3: Taking Measurements
When you need a rough measurement but no ruler or meter stick is at hand, use a piece of printer paper or looseleaf. Everyone (in America) knows printer paper and looseleaf is normally 8-1/2 by 11 inches. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve measured a rugor a tablecloth in a store by using a piece of paper! Just be careful with this outside of the US, because elsewhere the standard size of printer paper, called A4, is 8.27 by 11.7 inches.
So, there you have the first batch of Tom’s Truths. Stay tuned, as I’ll share some more with you in the coming months!