Recently, I’ve been considering getting a PhD in Evolutionary Psychology as a side-project. At the intersection of cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, it’s a fast-changing field that also draws in part from animal psychology, anthropology, artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, economics, linguistics, neuroscience and philosophy. Or, in short, basically everything I’m interested in, all rolled into one.
So, as a first step in that project, I’ve started studying for the GRE, the first time I’ve had to seriously face off with a standardized test in a decade and a half. Fortunately, standardized tests are totally my bag. But, on the math side at least, they also depend on a fair amount of knowledge that I haven’t had to dredge up from the recesses of my brain for nearly a decade or two.
Ask me to calculate the volume of a sphere, and my conscious mind reaches back to thoughts so old that they feel like they’re being read from microfiche. Even so, it turns out “V=4/3πr^3” is tucked down there somewhere. It’s just slow as molasses bringing it back.
Hence the studying, and the re-learning of high school math from scratch. Sure, once I take the test, that knowledge will once again quickly descend into the unused and unplumbed depths. But, at least for the moment, if you need to know how many chocolates Alan has when Betty has four more than half as many and Susan has two less than twice what Alan has, I’m definitely your go-to guy.