I was lying in bed last night watching Finding Nemo and Rodrigo was sitting next to me reading the Godfather. Somehow we started talking about Shakespeare and Rodrigo asked me when Shakespeare was alive. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I don’t remember. (I thought this answer would be enough and he would go look it up on the computer, but I was mistaken.)
Rodrigo: Well, it had to have been after Magellan circled this continent…
Me: Oh. Are we doing this the old fashioned way?
Rodrigo: What do you mean?
Me: You know… thinking.
We lasted eleven minutes without googling. My guess had been 16th century and Rodrigo said 17th. It turns out we were both right, he was born in one and died in the other.
Rodrigo came to his conclusion by remembering the works of Shakespeare’s Spanish contemporaries that he had read, and remembering when they were alive. I came to mine by remembering some bad movie where a kid asks something like “yo teach, why we gotta read plays by some guy who’s been dead for 500 years?” Then, I remembered we were in the year 2011, and I subtracted 500. All this studying I have done my whole life and it turns out all I really needed were remedial math and bad movies.