• Jess Elkins

A Monograph Detailing the Reasons for My Expansive Knowledge Of Facts

A note from the author- this is not actually a monograph. A monograph is defined as “a highly detailed and thoroughly documented study or paper written about a limited area of a subject or field of inquiry.” This is a post on a blog written by a 16-year old.

I’m the dream educational children’s toy. With the push of a button, I spew hundreds of facts a minute; facts that make you wonder “Woah? How does she know that?” Off the top of my head, here are two: Did you know the computer invented to defeat the Nazis was invented by a gay man? Or that there was a computer that defeated the Nazis? Or that there were Nazis? Did you know Gandhi preached sexual abstinence but had no trouble sleeping naked next to women? Women who were also naked? I’m sure you’re wondering why I know all these facts. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn all about my reasons for knowing the facts I do. So buckle up. My reasons are as numerous as the 93 million miles of space between our Earth and the sun. (For the record, that is very numerous.)

Reason 1: Fact Are Fun I’ll never say this while procrastinating homework, but I adore researching topics I love. When researching, each new fact I find is a little treasure I collect and store forever in my brain, ready at any moment to be shared. The thrill of discovering a fact, something that’s true, something I didn’t know before, is something that’s amazing. To help you understand what I mean, you are going to learn something new in the next paragraph. Afterwards, we’re going to check how thrilled you feel, using my “Thrill-o-metometer-dectometer" (patent pending). Ready? Okay. I’m sure you’ve heard of Star Trek, the boundary-breaking show that featured a multiracial cast in the 1960s. What you don’t know about, however, is the other boundary it broke besides racial equality. Because you see, this:

Source: https://angelorvm.tumblr.com/

Is derived from this: ש‬ ‬That weird little squiggle is the Hebrew letter shin. The act of making shin with your hand (as Mr. Spock so repeatedly demonstrates above) is actually an ancient Jewish blessing. That blessing is still done today by Cohanim, Jewish priests who trace their ancestry back to Aaron, brother of Moses. The story behind shin sneaking its way into Star Trek is even cooler than it’s origins. Leonard Nimoy, shown above, was raised Orthodox Jewish. One day while filming the episode “Amok Time,” Nimoy realized he needed to come up with the Vulcan equivalent of a handshake, as in the episode Mr. Spock was visiting his home planet Vulcan for the first time. Based on the time he’d seen the gesture performed during a religious service as a boy, Nimoy decided on shin, made it into the ta’al, and gave Trekkies a way to greet each other for decades.

Isn’t that amazing? You, the person reading this, you’ve just learned something entirely new you hadn’t known before! According to the Thrill-o-metometer-dectometer, you should be feeling pretty thrilled right now. That feeling of euphoria and excitement, that’s how I feel whenever I dig up a new fact.

(If you’re not feeling the thrill of learning something new, you’re a soulless being pretending to be human. Also, I feel I should make it clear that I’m totally using this article as an excuse to talk about Star Trek. I'm reasonably confident I’ve gotten it out of my system.)

Reason 2: Strong Facts Equals Strong Opinions I’ve been told a couple of times I’m an old soul, and maybe my facts are the reason why. I’m an extremely deep thinker- I suppose the label “intellectual” is accurate. All my “intellectualness” means I'm always reading new things to stretch my mind. However, all this reading presents me with new information. New information is the opportunity to form new opinions. And this is where my research comes in. I firmly believe that good facts make good opinions, and as I said before, the introduction of facts means I form new opinions. However, I want to be sure that these opinions are verifiable by good hard facts. So I research. To me, having strong facts to back up my opinions is almost as important as my opinions themselves. Sorry flat earthers. Fun Fact: the earth is not flat.

Reason 3: Facts Are How I Connect To People Facts are my love language. A love language is a person’s preferred method of receiving and giving affection. For example, the other day when I triumphantly shared with my mom that Gandhi did indeed sleep naked next to his also naked 18-year-old niece, I was connecting with her. (I was triumphant because I had first come across the fact while on Pinterest. My mom told me to do further research before going around telling people Gandi was a pervert.) Unfortunately, even facts are not immune to downsides. The downside is in how I share my facts. As an autistic, I am always doing a million things when in a conversation with someone, such as making sure I’m doing enough eye contact, having my body in a normal looking position, trying not to stim too much, etc. Because of this never-ending multitasking, I can’t always pay enough attention to catch that person I’m talking to really doesn’t want to hear about how teeth aren’t actually bones. Which is extremely sad. Because who doesn’t want to learn about bones?

I’ve always thought it funny that the point of a conclusion in writing is to inform the reader of what they just read. It seems a bit redundant to inform someone of information they just ingested. However, as any seasoned writer will tell you, you have to learn the rules before you break them. I’m not a seasoned writer, so here is a summary of what you just read:

  • I love facts

  • I know a lot of facts

  • Knowledge and facts are how I entertain myself

  • Facts are how I form researched opinions

  • Facts are how I connect to people

  • Gandhi was a jerk

  • Teeth aren’t bones

  • Spock is Jewish (not really, but I really like the look of “Spock is Jewish” typed out)

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