Alphabet Adventures Episode 9 .... "Academic"

in writing •  8 months ago

Apologies its pretty average, being a new fulltime dad is making my posts crap and rare.

Welcome to Alphabet Adventures a journey through the dictionary Episode 8.
If you didn't catch the first episode you can find it here basically it tells you what I am doing and why.

I have decided that the following quote will be a permanent fixture as I feel really captures the power of language.

“If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”

Today's Adventure

Is it strange that we live in a culture that so often holds the Academic in disregard? That the pursuit of knowledge is held less important than the ability to kick a ball in a goal or tackle some bloke with a ball? I don't know, I think its freaking strange.

So what does it mean to live in those "Ivory Towers"


adj 1. Relating to higher education as, at college, university, or academy.
2. Theoretical or intellectual, not related to practical skills.
3. Having an aptitude for learning or study.
n. teacher or researcher in an university or college.


The Academic take their name from the Greek Akademeia otherwise known as "The Academy" where Plato taught in the groves of Akademos around 380bc.

This one surprised me, I was expecting its root words to come together to mean thirst and knowledge or something deeps and meaningful.

The Groves.

source source

Situated to the North West of Athens The Groves of Akedemos wasn't always an academy ancient Greek Mythology places these groves in the ownership of the Greek hero Akedemos.

The story goes that Theseus King and founder of Athens, slayer of Minotaurs, decided that he would marry a daughter of Zeus, Enter Ancient Greece's Princes Peach sometimes called Helen of Troy but more correctly called Helen of Sparta Daughter of Zeus and Leda.

So Theseus rides into Sparta kidnaps the 12-year-old comes back to Greece and stashes to be child bride in his mothers care in a small town outside Athens, Aphidnae (guess where Akedemos lived) in the care of his mother before riding off to Hades with his mate to help him score a divine wife. (Greek heroes are strange)

Needless to say, Helen's brothers were pissed and beelined to Aphidnae in search of Helen, you have to assume the brought a fare force with them as they essentially threaten to level the small town if their sister is not returned to them, now this is where Akedemos is a hero In order that the town and its people should be saved despite the dangers of going against the will of his King tells the Spartans here she is hidden, the brothers collect their sister spare the town.

As you can imagine his aide to the Spartans bought him a lot of goodwill and ensured the safety of his property during any future Spartan raids.

The Academy itself.

So technically we could say that academics take their name merely from a long-dead estate holder Akedemos but the spirit of the word and name come from what Plato made there.

Plato arguably one of the most important figures in western thought, philosophy, mathematics and science, in fact, M.I.T ranks him at 9th position for the world most influential people literally ever, no mean feat for a man that's been dead for around 2360 years or so.

Plato a student of Socrates founded the Academy with no formal structure but rather as a place for people to gather, share a thought, discuss and teach, essentially creating the Wests first University. The Academy gathered so much fame during his life that it continued in some form or another for another 590 years after his death.

So why the disdain?

It can be really easy for the academic to appear disconnected from reality often they develop a set of language that removes may not speak to the layman, what good is some boffin studying string theory that postulates that the whole world is a hologram to the life of Joe Blogs.

While the world today has become much more open to technology and therefore the sciences that provide us our shiny gadgets part of the problem is timescale part of the definition of academic was theoretical, not practical, in the short term there can be a resentment towards resources and funds being channeled towards research and works that have no ready application to better the world for the average person.

Because I have no good way to end this I want you to remember that everything you enjoy today was academic before its creation, that everything was theoretical, that once upon a time some pore shlub of a cave mad coped alot of crap from his hunter mates from some stupid theory, he noticed that fire was warm and that when he rubbed things together they became warm and then spent every waking hour rubbing stick together trying to make fire instead of hunting.

Kind regards


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I don't hang out with the kind of people for whom sports is the be all and end all of existence, but I do hang out with some who tink that anything you can't immediately and practically apply to "real life" is "useless". I don't understand that mentality either :)

I like the Alphabet Adventures, they're the opposite of crap XD