Recently, I told a colleague about my teaching opportunity at the prison. One of them asked me if I would be allowed to bring a gun for protection. You heard that right, bring a GUN into a room full of criminals with nothing between them and me. While I was appreciative of their concern for my safety, I was nonetheless astounded by the ignorance of the question. I stared at the person open-mouthed for nearly 10 seconds unable to make any intelligent response. After I recovered my senses I recalled a theory I had developed some years ago after a particularly “challenging” day in the classroom.
The Black Hole of Intellect
A Black Hole is an astrological object in space which generates gravity so dense that not even light can escape its grip. I believe that certain events, situations, or even individual conversations can have the same quality. Certain things that are said or done are so unbelievably ignorant that they generate their own unique gravitational field that is so powerful all nearby intelligent thought is sucked into it. Consequently, anyone within its radius is left staring open-mouthed at the person unable to think or speak. However, some people are strong enough to at least make single random noises or words in response. Popular ones include, “yes but…”, “well I…”. You get the idea. Cast your mind back to that last time you had a conversation in a meeting or classroom where you had no idea what to say to the person without being sarcastic or rude. You’ll know I’m right.
Don’t worry though, the effect lasts only as long as you are in the immediate presence of the person or situation. Cheers!