I’ve been worried about getting stupider for ages. It was one of the standout lines in the novel I wrote in MFA school, so over ten years ago. I’m not worried about getting less informed. If it’s done anything, the Internet has provided the world with endless information and endless bullshit. But I do worry about other things slipping. For the most part, all I write is movie and comic book responses. When I write longer film pieces, I fret over them worse than I fretted over term papers. There’s a language we get comfortable using and mine doesn’t go towards longer work. Hence, I’m worried I’m getting to be dumb. I also am no longer in college or graduate school and I’m not having long conversations about Harry Mathews anymore. I’m watching Exorcist II. Because of all that concern over my growing stupidity, I started using this app called Elevate. I’ve almost won it. It’s supposed to make you smarter—math, listening, reading, all sorts of stuff. I’m an expert at Writing—I freaking should be, I refused to remember how much my writing degree cost—and advanced at everything else. Including Math, which has me concerned for every other Elevate user. I should not be so far ahead in Math. People out there still need math. I don’t do math. I’m trailing in Listening, which isn’t a surprise, but it is improving a whole lot. This post isn’t an endorsement of Elevate, though these apps are getting to be very popular with older people (whether they’re effective or not is for scientists better than whoever “The Today Show” brings out), but it is an endorsement for curbing perceived stupidity. I’m always going to feel like some variation of a jackass, but at least I’m going to know I’m okay at Reading and Speaking. With Listening getting better every day.

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