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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Darwin Who?

(Pandora is standing in the break room, staring hopelessly at the vending machine, when some random young employee she hasn't seen in months come bouncing in)

Random #1:  Hey.... It's Pandora....  How you doin....?

Pandora: (looks over her shoulder, gives a slight smile, and responds while continuing to stare into the lying eyes of the vending machine)  Hey there.  How've you been?

Random #1:  Awesome!  I'm totally awesome!  Life is good, things are going my way... can't complain.  I can't complain.  How 'bout you?  What you up to these days?

Pandora: Oh, you know.  Working, playing, staring hopelessly into a vending machine that truly has nothing to offer, and watching cartoons with my kid before bedtime.  Same old same old.

Random #1:  Cartoons, eh?  Which ones you watch?

Pandora:  Well, we seem to have graduated to a more intelligent humor in the cartoons these days, which I support.  One of my personal favorites it's called The Amazing World Of Gumball.  It seems that the characters would all be about junior high, but they're totally random in appearance: a walking talking banana, a walnut girl with antlers, a dinosaur, a ghost.  But my favorite is the fish named Darwin.  He's actually Gumball's pet gold fish but he grew legs and walked out of his fishbowl, so he's now a part of Gumball's family as son and brother and they named him Darwin.

Random #1: ...huh...  What's so special about Darwin?

Pandora: (takes her eyes away from the vending machine)  Well... he's a gold fish that evolved, grew legs, and walks outside of his goldfish bowl now.

Random #1:  ...  Am I missing something?

Pandora:  You know... Darwin...? Evolution...?

Random #1:  Who?

Pandora: ...you're joking, right?

Random #1:  ...

Pandora:  Darwin...?  CHARLES DARWIN...?  Theory Of Evolution...?  Sea creatures eventually evolved and grew legs and walked on land?  ...first creatures to evolve and step out of the water... things like that?

Random #1:  Wow... I have never heard of Charles Darwin.  I think I've heard of Evolution, but I really don't know anything about it.

Pandora: ...

Random #1: So that fish in the cartoon is some sort of spin off on this Darwin guy?  Does your daughter get that?  Cuz I didn't.

Pandora: (putting the dollar that she was never going to spend anyway back into her pocket)  Yes... yes my daughter gets it.  Where did you go to school?  

Random #1:  In Mesa.  Mesa public school district from Kindergarten through High School.

Pandora:  ...and you never heard of Charles Darwin?  Not even in High School?

Random #1:  Nope.  Is that bad?

Pandora: ... um... I think so, yes.  I think that's bad, but... that's me.  Anyway (as she walks toward the elevator) good to see you again.  Take it easy.

Random #1:  See ya! (big smile)

(Pandora steps into the elevator completely confused as to how a kid can be somewhere between the ages of 18 and 21 and not know Charles Darwin)

Random #2: Hey Pandora!  Going to 5?

Pandora: Yes, please.

Random #2: (studying Pandora's face) Bad day?

Pandora: Confusing day.  I just spoke to a young man that had no clue who Charles Darwin was.

Random #2: Charles who?

Pandora:  Darwin.

Random #2: Who's that?

Pandora: ... Charles Darwin?  Father of Evolution?

Random #2:   Father of what?

Pandora: ... evolution.  You know what evolution is, don't you?

Random #2:   um... please don't make me feel stupid right now, but... no.  I really don't know what that is. 

Pandora: ... Did you go to public school here in Arizona?

Random #2:  all my life.

Pandora:  ...and you never heard of Darwin or the theory of evolution?

Random #2: Well, no.  I mean, it sounds sciency and if it is sciency or historic or something then I probably just didn't pay attention because I just get the grade and get out.

Pandora: Even if you just get the grade and get out, it's a little hard to forget the guy that says you came from Monkeys.  What is going on in the education system here?!

Random #2: (shrugs shoulders)  Is this something I should know about? 

Pandora: Well, considering that the world of science uses the Theory Of Evolution to base most of its understanding of the beginning of life on Earth, yes... yes I do think it's something you should know about.  But... I'm having this strange Twilight Zone moment right now so... don't take me too seriously I guess.  (steps off the elevator)

Random #2: You have a good afternoon, Pandora!  Don't let our lack of education get you down! 

Pandora: (walks into The Kid's cubicle)  I have two words for you:  CHARLES DARWIN  

The Kid: (turns around from his computer)  ...and...?

Pandora:  Do you know who that is?

The Kid: Yes.

Pandora:  Tell me... tell me who he is.

The Kid: (looking somewhat unnerved and confused as though Pandora may have lost her mind completely) um... He's the Father Of Evolution?

Pandora:  YES!  YES! Thank you!

The Kid:  Why did you just ask me that?

Pandora:  Because it came up randomly in conversation with two people and neither of them knew who he was.  Neither of them even knew the theory of evolution.

The Kid:  Really?!  I thought everyone knew that.  Where did they go to school?  Had to be a private school.

Pandora: No, man.  Public school. 

The Kid: What?!  No way.

Pandora: Way.

The Kid:  Well, your daughter goes to private school.  Does she know who Darwin is?

Pandora: She knew who Darwin was by the fourth grade.  Want to know why?  Because private school thinks like this: "Here is Creationism, and here is Evolution.  Learn them both, because you need to know."  

The Kid:  Huh...  That's kind of disturbing that there are adults walking around that have no clue who Darwin is.  If they aren't teaching Creationism and they aren't teaching Evolution and they aren't teaching Intelligent Design, then... how do they address the issue of life's origins?  ...the stork?

Pandora: My point exactly!  Very disturbing!  I am disturbed by this.  (turns to walk next door to her cubicle)  ... I am disturbed...

The Kid: (someone walks into his cube and starts to ask a question.  The Kid turns around) Dude... Charles Darwin.

Random #3: What?

The Kid: Come on, man:  Charles Darwin.  Who is he?

Random #3: Well, he's the guy that came up with the evolutionary theory.  The hell are you asking me this for?

The Kid:  Because man, Pandora just ran into some people that had no clue who he was and I started to wonder how many other people may not know who he is.

Random #3:  People don't know who Darwin is?  ...that's kinda sad, man.

The Kid:  Yeah... it is...  What's your question?

(The Kid goes about his business and a few minutes later another individual steps into his cube to ask a question)

The Kid: Do you know who Charles Darwin is?

Random #4:  ...what?

The Kid:  Charles Darwin... do you know who he is?

Random #4: ...why are you asking me that?

The Kid:  Humor me.  I'm taking a survey.  Some people do and some people don't.  So do you know who he is?

Random #4:  Yeah, I know who he is.

The Kid:  So who is he?

Random #4:  Why are you asking me this?

The Kid:  You just can't say you know who he is and get out of this.  What did he do?  He did something.

Random #4:  Um... wasn't he the guy that discovered milk?

Pandora: (sits silently in her own cubicle but, from hearing this, leans back in her chair and lifts her eyes to the ceiling in disbelief)

The Kid: ... um, no.  I think you're thinking of Louis Pasteur, and he didn't discover milk he pasteurized it. 

Random #4: Oh.  Well, I guess I don't know who Charles Darwin is then.  Who is he?

The Kid:  Nope, it doesn't work that way.  You have to go look him up now and find out for yourself.  This is important.  Go do it.  Go look him up and read about it. 

Random #4: Oh.  Okay.  (leaves his cube)

Pandora: (talking to The Kid over the cubicle wall) I can't believe that!  I can't believe what I just heard!  The guy who discovered milk?!

The Kid:  Yeah... milk and evolution... they're inseparable.  You've got me on a mission now, Pandora.  For the rest of the day and night I'm going to ask anyone and everyone that crosses my path if they know Charles Darwin.  I need to know how bad this actually is.

Pandora:  Well, so far your statistic is 1 in 2 people know who he is.  I guess, if we count my two random selections and you, we've got 2 in 5 people know who he is.  Still... things aren't lookin' so hot here. No wonder China is kicking our ass on everything.  No one learned about Natural Selection or Survival Of The Fittest over here.

The Kid: They're coming over in row boats, Pandora...

Pandora: ...in row boats and they're gonna take us down with spoons.  

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