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As a part-time lecturer I spend most of my time during the winter months preparing, researching and giving lectures. I impart my knowledge and hope that my students will remember a few things, not just about the topic I am teaching but maybe even gain a little bit of general knowledge.

I know quite a lot, being an avid reader helps, but every now and then I have to giggle at my own stupidity. Yesterday I had such a moment: for years I have always thought that the phase used to get people (mostly children) out of bed early in the morning was “up and Adam”. Now I had never seen the phrase written and did often wonder at this peculiar phrasing and what it meant , even where it came from. I had my own little theory that it meant that you get up and like “the first” man start the day a fresh.

Oh, how silly did I feel when, while browsing the shelves in a bookstore, my eyes flitted across the covers and landed on a  book called “up and at’em”. Suddenly it dawned on me that I had it wrong all along. Wanting to rectify my error I looked the saying up and low and behold I found out that my fellow Irish man the Duke of Wellington not only won the Battle of Waterloo, invented  my beloved wellies and gave his name to the popular English beef-dish, but most likely coined “up and at’em”, the phrase I had oh so wrong.

So while still grinning to myself and reveling in my new found knowledge I had a thought – I had just proven another saying: “you’re never too old to learn!”

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