College is such a strange thing. At times I think the only real purpose of college is to keep you busy for a number of years, until you are mature enough to deal with the requirements of life. You spend four years to get a piece of paper that says you spent that time doing something intelligent, and people respect that. Do they see these people in these classes? Do they see them walking the halls in pajama pants, living off of intravenous coffee ingestion and talking to their friends during most of a lecture. Are these the scholarly sages we present recognition to?
But drudgery is an excellent teacher. If not for the mundane academics of college, teachers would never learn how to be long-winded, dusty and rigid. No, they must walk the halls long enough, until they forget what sunshine looked like, how it felt to be a child. They forget how it felt to play outside, jump in puddles and lie in the grass. Then, and only then can they be handed the baton and sent off to teach these beings that they have spent long years estranging themselves from.
Having lived amongst desks for four or more years of their life, these objects become familiar – too familiar. The rigid lines of the classroom are the only world they know of learning. So used to being spoken to, when allowed to speak they ramble their ideas as if no one has ever stopped to ask them what they thought. Perhaps no one did. Silence has become their only way of survival, the air they feed off of to push their way through the books, papers and lectures. Why should they expect any different when they are finished? They spend long years sitting, listening, working – why can’t they expect the same of those they go on to teach?
But there is hope for some. Some wade their way through the confines and still remember what sunshine was like. They remember the carefree joys of play and the smell of fresh flowers. They learn – first to toil and labour amongst words, ideas and ideologies, spreading out life in papers so thin that they lose their taste at all. They do all this, and then learn again. They learn to live, breathe, smile and to stop to watch the sun set. Life comes back like blood in a cold arm held too tightly, or warmth in cheeks exposed too long to the chill wind. They live again – fueled by the pain of their sentence and bursting for joy at their freedom.
I only hope that this will be my story too.