Wednesday, September 5, 2007

And So it Begins... Again

And now, time for some satire and some cynicism...

With the summer weather just beginning to turn, giving itself over to a slow and casual and not unpleasant death, the once calm and pleasant campus lurches back into violent, shuddering life; the lighting having struck, the switch having been thrown, the flesh is once again animated and Dr. Frankenstein's monster, that ghastly assembly of once dead parts now newly given form and meaning, comes back into pulsing, glorious life! Yes, that's right: school is back in session at the University of Saskatchewan, my not so beloved but at the moment necessary institution of higher learning. All around, in every nook and cranny, filling every hall and hemorrhaging riotously off of every walkway and well beaten path, clotting about in sanguine clumps that are desperate for identity and validation, are people, an endless barrage of sweating and shouting people who seem to have no business in the supposedly dignified and hallowed halls of the Academy; they are a swirling mass that staggers and reels about, fueled by a seemingly endless supply of excitement, liberation, anxiety and more than a little alcohol. God bless Welcome Week! The new flesh swaggers and lurks, uncertain of what's really going on and yet trying to enjoy the madness of what they no doubt still think of more as a National Lampoon's comic fantasy than as a regular life. For now, the new flesh revels and celebrates. Soon, though, much sooner than they may now realize, these vibrating mobs will be reduced to lonely huddling clumps, their once great organs slowly dissected into their constituent parts, anatomized, the individual pieces peeled off and left to twitch and scurry by themselves back and forth from class to library to class to study session. But this autopsy is regenerative; this dissection is restorative. For here, alone and finally enjoying some privacy, here in the quiet hours of the library, in the late night lamp-light reading, in the contemplative and introspective life of growing self-awareness and critical thought, here is the real meaning of the University, the heart of education. Not in the quivering, sweating flesh of self-indulgence and hysteria, but in the still, quiet hours in which you can hear the voices of God, of reason and education and, perhaps the most unlikely of all, of yourself. So enjoy your badly played outdoor concerts and your beer gardens for now, but know that University is about more, so much more, than getting laid, getting high, getting drunk or getting lost. It is about understanding and self-awareness. Know thyself, nosce te ipsum, and find time to think privately and intensely. Flee the insane mob if you must and retreat into some quiet corner of some dimly light diner or coffee shop. The University is, or at least should be, about mature thought and it is hard, exceedingly hard, to think for yourself in the midst of a crowd.

4 comments:

Nevis said...

uncontrollable fits of cynicism...?

LMAO

dcornelius said...

what... you never experience those? huh. I get them all the time.

Life of Turner said...

And I do not miss it at all.

Derek out.

Nevis said...

Your blog makes my brain hurt. I actually had to look up one of the words you used.

Sadly, seriously and some other adverb that starts with 'S'.