Last night during Spanish tutoring, as we discussed which personality traits we inherited from our parents, our teacher called me pragmatic. A snippet (based on what I remember was said, not exactly what was said, grammar-freaks):
Claudia: Tu eres pragmatica.
Joy: (beaming, although she’s never been really sure what that word means, in either language) Si?
Claudia: Claro, siempre quieres saber funciona algo. Una vez que sabes los hechos, estás muy bien, incluso si los no tienen sentido. Brendan, mientras, es argumentativo.
Joy: (nodding effusively) Es verdad!
Claudia went on to explain that being argumentative wasn’t bad, just different than being pragmatic. And then she asked why Brendan wasn’t un abogado (lawyer). Typical, he distracted her by making a joke about avocados. And I corrected him, since aguacate is one of my favorite words to say (second to cacahuate, peanuts).
Ni modo, Claudia is the second teacher to label me pragmatic. The first time was way back in 11th grade, when Mr. Addison, my computer science teacher, noticed how I took to learning DOS, a barebones-interface operating system for IBMs. Once I learned the rules of DOS, I was fine, unlike many of my fellow students, who never did get “DIR.” I also was one of the few females in the class, which tells you something.
I remember going home and looking up the word “pragmatic” and feeling underwhelmed, and a little confused. Was it a compliment? A sign of future greatness? Or just, you know, a fact about who I am?
That’s the problem with being pragmatic, I guess. It’s hard to see beyond the facts. I know this much: He said I was pragmatic, but what does that really mean?
However, I like to think this “pragmatic sensibility of mine” has something to do with my career as a journalist (“just the facts, ma’am”) my almost frighteningly amazing sense of direction (“the four cardinal directions don’t change”) my tendency to make grocery lists (“milk, coffee, something sugary/frozen”) and my atheism (needs no explanation).
Oh, and that I scored in the 98th percentile on the GRE in the analysis section (we’re not going to mention my other two scores. Ahem.) That’s the section with questions like this:
A father is three times as old as his son. After fifteen years the father will be twice as old as his son’s age at that time. Hence the father’s present age is
- None of the above
I sailed through that section, thinking it was, get this: fun. To go easy on all of you, I picked one of the easier questions. De nada.
It also explains why I am good at puzzles. Life is a puzzle, too, but I’m still sorting through it. And people, well, I’ll never understand them.