Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Today was such a collaboration of different emotions.  I had a great day--got a work-out in, received several Valentine's Day cards from dear friends, talked about the importance of emotions for normal cognitive functioning in philosophy with the poetic Dr. Wood, had dinner with a lovely friend, and went to night class.  But as I sit here trying to keep my mind focused to finish my homework for SCI 301, I can't help but feel like my whole world is zooming forward at the speed of light and time is escaping me.  Perhaps this has been on my mind because we just finished On The Road by Jack Kerouac in Modernism & Beyond, but it seems this way in every aspect of my life.  Soon the quad will be over.  I speed read through adolescent lit, barely skim the surface of the texts for science, and sometimes skip the reading for philosophy.  Yet I don't have a job, and the only outside thing I'm involved in at the moment is dance practice for Confessions and my neuroplasticity research team.

I'm not using my blog to vent, but rather to analyze what this means...I mean how much am I getting out of my education if I'm being rushed in every subject to get things done?  On the other hand, how can a college compete with other schools if this much work is not required?  By the middle of the week I'm almost a walking zombie, counting days til the weekend.  This has never been me before, and I start to wonder if my education is doing the opposite of its intent.

I'm exhausted. I want to stop and stand and look up at the sky.  I want to cherish every sentence and feel gratuitous for all the opportunities I've been given.  Instead I'm stressed, a frenzied American girl rushing around, and I'm trying so hard to keep my heart attached to my head.  It's so easy to fall into not feeling, not really letting anything into the will because so much is flooding into the mind.

Sometimes I want to take all the time wasted from my past and throw it into my present, but as I look back, much of that wasted time wasn't wasted at all.  I learned how to sit and do nothing, something I wish I could do, or even justify now.  Is time a precious gift or is it a constraint?  How much more could we do without it looming over our head, reminding us we can't have too long of a dinner without feeling guilty?

They always say what you put into your education is what you'll get out of it, but what if I'm pulled in so many different directions that I'm really no where at all?  When Jack Kerouac was in a place, he was in a place.  But we're not.  We're not on this earth permanently, we leave home, we leave college, and we transition from place to place.  Not only that, but it takes a long time for our hearts to join our physical bodies.  And way too often our emotions seem to follow the trail of our physical reality, never really investing in a person for fear that soon he or she will be gone.  We resist depth of passion and intimacy because we don't want to place our true selves in a place that will have to eventually be evacuated.

I've learned a few lessons in college: sleep > caffeine.  people > education.  love > detachment.  God > love.

But to function as a college student in Western civilization, the only way to put God first is to put Him in everything else.  Maybe this is how He intended it to be, or maybe this is the only way we know how to get by.

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