What counts

Jeff with college friends and a favorite professor at graduation, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee, June 1980 BONUS TRIVIA QUESTION: Can you spot the practical joker? The future attorney? The track stars? The other future dentist (besides Jeff)?  The two who came from the same VERY small town?

Jeff with college friends and a favorite professor at graduation,
David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University), Nashville, Tennessee, June 1980
BONUS TRIVIA QUESTIONS: Can you spot the legendary practical joker? The track stars? The future attorney? The future neuropsychologist? The other future dentists (besides Jeff)? The two who came from the same VERY small town?  What subject did the professor teach?

“What counts is what you learn after you know it all.”Earl Weaver

Sometimes it seems that life is one long series of reaching the top of one hill only to start all over again at the bottom of another one.  After awhile, we realize that we never stop needing to learn.  Most of us can look back and laugh at younger versions of ourselves, who were laughing at still younger selves and naively thinking we finally had arrived.

How fortunate that we get the know-it-all years behind us relatively early, so we can get on with the more serious business of finding out how to stay flexible and keep discovering fresh information.  I remember during our college years, Jeff told me about hearing a theology classmate remark “I knew more when I came in this class than I do today.”  That’s a lesson well learned in a variety of disciplines.

What did you learn after you knew it all?

One year ago today:

We must discover


  1. HarryS

    I thought so much of the slogan, “FIRST THINGS FIRST” that I had a Placard made for the front bumper of my new automobile.
    A friend of mine saw it and shared that for him FIRST THINGS FIRST means to take the action and leave the results up to God.

    This has been my mantra ever since.

    • Harry, that’s a pretty good mantra. It’s surprising how hard it is to keep first things first when one is as easily distracted as I am. Sometimes making a list helps, but lots of things that matter most can’t really be put on a list, and first things can’t always be planned.

  2. bobmielke

    It seems like I’ve spent my whole life in school. I am an electronics technician, computer guru and instructor and a photographer and teacher. If you ever want to know a subject thoroughly teach it. Now I’m back in school, sort of, learning the new Elements 13 editing software so I can teach it to my photography students. Fortunately I learn very quickly so this is just a hickup in my schooling career. 🙂

    • I haven’t done much teaching in my life but I can see how it would be a continual education. There will always be students who think of every question possible, and then some more. I was often one of those annoying types who ask lots of questions in class. Sometimes we would conspire to get the teacher chasing a rabbit (figuratively speaking) so we wouldn’t have to listen to something boring.

      • bobmielke

        I always told my students the only stupid question is the one they were afraid to ask. They would really keep you on your toes, thoroughly knowing the subject matter. I love to teach.

        • In library school they taught us a rule of providing good reference services: “There is no such thing as a stupid question.”

  3. raynard

    Julia, I think all my time I spent in the library during my military service( kept me out of bars and clubs) I didnt want to be ” a man about town” Only during the game of Trivia Pursuit and Jeparody did I become like’ Cliff Claven the mailman from that old TV Show Cheers and Detective Arthur Detrich from Barney Miller.. I digress. Now all this ” useless knowledge” helps me in my witness to others. A sister in the church told my wife how she notices how I gravitate to new people. I first heard it in a gospel song and found it in the scriptures, Proverbs, He that has friends must himself be friendly. Comes with trust and dealing with a fear of rejection.Bluntly and truthfully speaking a” hard pills to swallow( who likes doing that even when you know it can help you).. Be blessed

    • Raynard, it’s true that a lot of what is called “useless knowledge” is just stuff that is not interesting to whoever is calling it that. The more one is interested in “trivia” or details, the more one becomes interested in people and things all around. And nothing is more helpful in making friends than being interested in other people. I’ve found that people will forgive a lot if they can tell you are genuinely interested in them, and not in what you want to get from them. Do you have the Baby Boomer edition of Trivial Pursuit? I got that question set at a garage sale, and I was surprised how many of those questions I didn’t know. I actually did better at the original game.

  4. I’ve come to believe, only now with the calm that retirement affords me, that the truth that surpasses the reality of time and circumstance, can best be found in the child-like.

    • Alan, I think you are right about that. Kids are pretty smart before they get old enough to know it all. 😀

  5. singleseatfighterpilot

    I will have to recuse myself – especially when the identity of the editor of “The Bald Bison” is in danger of being revealed!

    • No danger of that. The practical joker in the photo was of a much less sophisticated type. The editor of the Bald Bison graduated many years before this photo was made (probably there was no truth to the rumor that he got kicked out of school for it). He’s probably running The Onion now.

  6. I thought I knew it all while I was still living at home with my parents. ” They knew nothing.” I asked them so many times to, ” get off my back.” Only to realize when I went out into the world that they were the only one’s who had my back. I paid very close attention after that. They are long gone and I am a grandmother, but I am still learning. Isn’t it great when we realize learning is fun. :o) Great post Julia.

    • Patricia, it really is great to be here (as grandmothers) and still learning. I am thankful we both were blessed with loving parents who have given us that legacy. I hope to have mine with me on earth as long as possible, but even when they have passed on, their wisdom will remain with me. I’m happy you liked the post!

  7. bobmielke

    Changing jobs can be so stressful You come in the rookie but with a resume full of experience. The existing employees can be worried to death you’re there to take away their job because of your long list of experience and education. It takes a while to fit in and let them know they’re safe.

    I’ve started jobs where I could literally run the place after a week. I got certified in a week at this electronics job once because I worked on the same exact equipment in the Air Force for 4 years. It can intimidate existing employees who took two years to get certified watch me do it in two weeks.

    • Yes, sometimes our advantages can have disadvantages embedded in them. A huge part of working well in most jobs is learning to work harmoniously alongside people who may be very different from us and each other — and who may be resentful and/or suspicious of anyone new. I’m grateful most people still know how to get along with each other in work situations, although I wonder whether it will continue that way as we gravitate more and more toward interaction with machines. I suppose time will tell.

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