like, education

An Essay By Ben // 6/12/2003

Like the blades of grass that don’t get drawn individually or the blue brush strokes that melt into the green of shadowed fields on a canvas. Like the faces in cars that pass one before another or the spoken words that disappear in a lake of raindrops – like life; for life is always like itself. For we are always like ourselves. We are like the people we were five months ago, but not the same. What we did maybe 173 days ago somehow figures into the "us" of today, like a finger touching a strand of spider web and making that strand reverberate still 173 days later. But we aren’t only the effect of then, nor are we only the cause of now, if you get my meaning. We are like ourselves in the future as well, like the humidity in the air foretelling a storm. It’s kinda, like, interesting, isn’t it?

Today I’ve gone over a list of thoughts and experiences I’ve had over the past week or so. I store these up, focus on them, trying not to forget them until I can write them down. Like the musician I saw playing two Saturdays ago: he sat slightly hunched over the chair with his eyes closed as though he were shutting off his capacity to see, making himself blind, sacrificing the sense of his eyes so that his ears might see the music, understand the music.

These kinds of thoughts are the aftermath of the 173 days I’ve lived since I drove to New Hampshire to begin the spring semester. That semester is over now, and I still don’t have my grades, but I do have the dim memory of the pages I read for class. And these blossom out in new ways now that there is time - now that I’m only reading one book at a time, and at a leisurely speed. So the thoughts and experiences come out.

Maybe my education hasn’t built anything visible on the surface; maybe that’s not it’s goal. What it has done thus far it has done well: make the soil rich so that roots can grow deep. I’m not an engineer or a professional musician, but literature and the thoughts of the liberal arts make life interesting, give it meaning. They make life more like itself.

Tomorrow morning I have to get up at 6:30ish to open the gates to the State Park I’m working at. It’s been a good job, but everyone keeps telling me it will get much harder when it gets hotter and when school lets out. I’m sure it will. They tell me we’ll have tons of Brazilians, Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Mexicans, Russians – you name it – picnicking and swimming all over the park. Outside of work, I think I should start thinking about what will happen after college. I want to go to graduate school, but at this point I’m not quite sure what I would be aiming for ultimately. Do I want to teach? Write? Do web design? Travel? Do service work? Maybe the best thing will be to take off some years from school. In some ways I hate making these big decisions. I don’t want to decide between these things. I’d like to do them all!

This is my last journal entry for MyRoad, which is too bad. I can’t say that I always appreciated having to stay up late on Tuesday nights writing the journal and emailing it in just before the due dates. But I can say that it has been good for me to be forced to write about what I’m up to. The project accentuates (nice word there, huh?) one’s life as a student. It made me more aware of what I was doing. And knowing that someone on the other side reads my journals has definitely made me eager to do something worth reading about.



Ah...Ben, everytime I'm wondering about my education in anyway...I've read this. And it just reminds me that my education has done and is doing its job, to nourish my roots and make me the person I am and am becoming. Thank you!

Raine | Tue, 07/10/2007


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