Lost in the Wilds of Academia
It’s a wilderness out there. The rivers of Philosophy, the roots of History, the blinking hidden blue sky of Religion, the tree trunks of English and a path that’s carved over and through the boulders of Facts. In the middle of this forest sits a girl dressed in blue at a desk.
If I had to describe my job in poetic terms, this is how I would start. Academia is a forest. It seemed like that when I was a student. It’s changed for me now, I use to be a consumer of education. I was a student. I use to devour history books, debate english verse, and study Hebrew texts as easily as I now restart computers, set up email on a smart phone, or instruct a patron to use the scanner. There was a simplicity in my learning then. The moments of “ah-ha” inspiration or banging my head against the desk after reading about Russian history. The late night study sessions and sleeping with your textbook under your pillow for good luck.
These are the things I remember from being a student.
Now I’m a student again. About to finish an Action Research project to graduate with a Masters of Education. I’ve been a student on and off for three years. Ever since I came back to my Alma mater in November of 2008 and quickly realized that my brain was going soft. Like a flan in a cupboard. Who knew the brain is a a muscle that needs exercise? My psychology professor most likely. Alas, they forget to tell you this in the Senior Disorientation. Little details about adult life they forget to make you aware of.
I think being an adult takes all of us by surprise. It seems to be a moment, a sudden realization that I am not what I was. When I was a undergraduate, knowledge seemed to come from nowhere. It was present within every classroom, conversation and moment on my campus. Now, I have to work at knowledge. I have to take the time out of my day to experience it.
“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” -Khalil Gibran
Now I ask questions, I understand that what my education trained me for was to go deeper. To drill down to the truth of the matter. It doesn’t mean that it happens every time, in every conversation but it could be there.
So, dig deep friends.