Quite often, I hear my elders rant about the current state of the education system.
No one learns multiplication tables anymore.
No one knows geography.
Grammar? WHAT'S GRAMMAR?
I know I have some holes in my educational background, but for the most part I consider myself at least a little better off than most, since I have always been a voracious reader. Reading covers up a multitude of sins. At the very least you have big words to use and interesting characters to talk about, at the drop of a hat.
then things like this happen, and I start to think I need to hire myself a private tutor.
A few days ago I was standing on a rooftop patio very near St. Paul's. The view of the London was magnificent. The sky was clear for once, and a beautiful shade of blue. The few clouds in sight were whispy and fluffy. A mellow breeze drifted through the air.
As my eyes scanned the horizon, my insides did an excited little jump. "Cool," I thought to myself. "You can see the Eiffel Tower from here. How ROMANTIC!"
I was about to point this out, when I paused. "Wait a second.....Is that possible? What direction is France? What direction am I facing? How far away is Paris? Is the landscape between here and there flat enough for me to even see anything in Paris from here?"
The thing is, I had the answer to none of those questions, and my Blackberry wasn't connecting to the internet, so I couldn't do a quick search to find out.
And I certainly wasn't going to ask anyone. No. WAY.
Because....while it LOOKED an awful lot like the Eiffel Tower, the logical part of my mind told me it couldn't possibly be. But the flaky part of my mind REALLY WANTED IT TO BE TRUE. However, I had no hard facts at hand to help me reach any kind of conclusion whatsoever.
So I took a surreptitious picture with my phone, as a reminder that when I had access to Google, I was going to do some investigative journalism, and I went on my merry way.
And then I forgot.
Until the topic of Geography came up with my friend, a few days later. My friends and I try to have cultured conversations.
"Can I ask you something? Is it possible to see the Eiffel Tower from a tall building in London?"
"....................I don't think so....."
"Are you SURE?"
"Well...the English Channel is between England and France, and then there is the distance from both London and Paris TO the Channel.....so I don't think it's possible."
"I need to check Google."
So I did. And I went to six different sites. And according to my research, no: It is not possible to see the Eiffel Tower from any point in London. Not even the London Eye.
So...there goes THAT romantic occurrence from my life.
At least I didn't embarrass myself by excitedly pointing out the non-Eiffel Tower from a random rooftop in London.