One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother (a teacher) who took me on a tour of her work one summer and stopped at a door. She said "This is kinder-garden. This is where you will be going to school next year." I remember looking at the door and imagining behind it a bunch of little garden rows. Of course you would start with gardening! Then when it was time to learn math we would already have something to add up. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was the next year when all we did was a lot of paper work. I kept waiting for the day when the paperwork would finish and they would take us out to the garden.
Once my grandmother came over for a visit and we were playing army in the yard. She came running out of the house and said "Stop that! Don’t you know what you play as children is what you will become when you grow up?" I had just been killed and was lying on the ground. I remember looking up and thinking I’ll probably grow up to do paperwork.
All these different areas of knowledge. It is impossible for someone to be a renaissance man in the modern world. A man who is a doctor, lawyer, engineer, and scientist all rolled into one. What is it now? Eight hundred degrees just within the field of engineering alone. I was just formulating my thesis that only a tight group of people, a small community, could collectively equal the renaissance ideal when we heard about D&D.
School had all these different areas of knowledge but never brought them together. In role playing I found a use for all of my knowledge. In fact I started learning more. We were quickly surprised to find that no matter how much we learned, there was always more. My math grades started going up. In role playing I finally found a single use for all that school had to offer. Not only that, but a group to share it with. Role playing was the first thing I had ever seen where everyone would get up, turn off the TV, and the radio, sit down around a table and actually listen to each other.
I would also get to create gardens.
David Michael Grouchy II