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Eric Mihan Eric Mihan
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The more you know...

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You remember those inane promo spots on TV, usually capping off one of your favorite 'Must see Thursday' or 'Homely and don't have a date so you might as well watch TV Saturday' sitcoms? The ones where the sitcom star, Steve Urkel or someone, would tell you some REEAALLY interesting factoid, and then that silly shooting star would flash by, 'The More you know'?

Let me tell you what I know: These TV spots are made by evil clowns. There, I said it. Don't they make it seem nice and easy to teach? 'Gosh, if you know something extra super interesting, then with the magic of the fairydust that sprinkles from the tail of the More you Know comet, you'll be able to convey it in an intelligent and coherent manner to a small collective.'

Bull. At the shop we're in the final stages of putting together a wine school; a place where, in theory, I can share whatever bits of wine knowledge and other detritus are floating around in my cranium. I'm sure at a micro level, it resembles the Great Pacific Garbage Island. Anyhow, I'm having a dickens of a time forging substantive seminars out of the pile of pudding that is my gray matter.

For instance, the basic course will be a Wine 101 class, designed to introduce basic vino concepts to the masses, to make them more comfortable in both wine shops and restaurants. These concepts are the very things I talk to customers about every day, or the advice I offer in this very column, yet when I try to actually get them typed down in lesson plan format zilch.

Despite assurances from some truly excellent professional educators that this is quite normal, panic that I will be an unprepared teacher still grips me. Of course, I'm sure this fear is somehow connected subconsciously to my parenting skills, which at this point have barely managed to keep my daughter physically intact and progressing at a normal rate. Thank God for her mother, who manages not only to teach her essentials but also to un-do whatever damage I've caused.

Anyhow, why the rant about how bad a teacher I am? I think at some level I don't buy it myself. I realize that my advice and instruction have really mattered to people, and have made their lives better, if even on a small level. And I also think that this is true for many of us. We have all spent time learning our trade, and we should be confident in our knowledge. And so my advice in this column is to keep learning and keep growing. Take advantage of adult education classes, and push your boundaries. You never know, you might end up falling in love with something new, delving deep and someday end up teaching about it yourself. Like me - heck, I used to be a classical singer! After all, the more you know, right? Oops does that make me an evil clown? Well, I live in the right town, I guess.


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