Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Literature Nerd

Kelsey and I have a tradition. Neither of us really remember how it started, but every year on the last day of school, we would end up at her house, jumping on the trampoline and chanting: "We don't have school tomorrow [bounce] or the next day [bounce] or the next day [bounce] or the next day [bounce] or the next day [bounce] or the next day [bounce ]or the next day [bounce]...." and on and on we went, until her poor mother came outside to shove Minute Maid Italian Ice popsicles in our mouths, probably for the express purpose of shutting us up.

We were SO excited to be out of school. The summer stretched before us lazily, full of long, boring days, camps, swimming lessons, Cedar Point trips that didn't yet require days off of work, and those random little adventures that always seemed so epic when we were young. The two of us would lie on that trampoline, discussing the endless possibilities that were ahead of us now that we had been unfettered from that awful institution of education.

Well I have a confession to make: I never felt fettered. I mean, that's not completely true -- everyone feels tied down and overwhelmed and sick of school at times, myself included. But the majority of the time, I loved being in school. I loved my teachers, I loved being easily successful [it was seventh grade...not exactly rocket science], I loved my friends, I loved everything! The initial break was like drinking your first cherry limeade. It was so delicious, so refreshing, so wonderful, and you felt like you wanted it to just go on and on and on and on, like mine and Kelsey's trampoline chant. After a while, though, the realization hits: summer days are all alike; they are stagnant, hazy, unchanging...HOT. There is no change in the air, no electricity. Past the fourth of July, I secretly and guiltily began to look forward to the fall.

School fever struck early this year. Very early. I am sitting at my desk here at the real estate office, scrupulously avoiding the petty, paper-pushing tasks that are piling up, and studying my class schedule. I can't lie, I am nearly giddy in excitement. Sociology, psychology, linguistics, Russian, and best of all, my literature and writing courses -- I cannot wait to get back to school!

My Mimi recently told me that she has never seen me happier than I have been since I started school. She was talking with one of her friends and she said that I was going to be in school for the next fifty years because that is what I love. Now, regardless of the fact that I have always enjoyed it, I have never seen myself as a lover of knowledge, but that is exactly what I am. I love learning; I love to know things. Bookstores taunt me, because such richness and depth and mystery lies upon those sacred shelves, but also because of the overwhelming amount -- even if I were able to devote my life to nothing but literature [and the thought has crossed my mind more than once] I would never be able to read everything! And if I could, there would be new books published that I would have to skip, and after a while everything would just run together. You see the dire predicament in which I find myself.

What is it that makes a person educated? I would say that my breadth on English is above average, but my scientific education has been woefully undermined [despite...or more probably, because of KAMSC]. I have the corner on pop culture, a working understanding about political issues, but international affairs? Sports? Nothing.

I think that the love of knowledge, like the love of money, is an insatiable thirst, an unending pursuit: one can never get enough. When does a person stop learning? Is their day to day existence fulfilling at that point? To not learn anything requires more work than learning, sort of like the way I think that believing in evolution takes a lot more faith than believing in creationism. It just doesn't make sense.

Great. Now that I have written this, my passions are all stirred up, and all I want to do is go curl up with one of the multitude of books on my [self-sanctioned] summer reading list. Of course, I have to go to the restaurant and schmooze for the next six hours....but maybe after. Yes, most certainly after.


sherrie youdell said...

i love reading your write exactly how you talk, I can hear your voice coming through the words as I read them.

Love you kiddo


chills... that gave me chills carly. your amazing and i love you. i dont have the skill you have you can put your thoughts on paper thats just soo amazing to me. it really is.