I sat in on a colleague’s class today, and I felt nervous at first. How much stands between me and my last undergraduate course. But as it began I was swept away. Caught up in the discussion questions and the contextual text. Taking notes not on pedagogy, as I was invited to do, but content and thoughts and relevance. College was–mostly–processing alone. And partying out of obligation. I’ve spent the last few days trying to pin it down, why in all places I didn’t come out of feeling so alone, even in the office hours of my professors. What it was, ultimately, that separated me from them. Time and assumptions are all I can come up with. The fucking privilege of an education, I thought, as I looked around the room at all the students. Some of them engaged, some of them in other places. Why do we do that? Do we start college too young or too late? This kind of education. I wanted it so badly. I still want it. Still would rather be sitting in a classroom than anywhere else. A circle of thought. Still am the most frustrated when I feel like I am not learning. When I feel under stimulated. When I feel brain energy has been wasted = think of what else I could be learning. I have to feel pushed. In anything. In everything. My challenge is dealing with a lack of challenge…
The class discussed Augustine. My colleague beginning the session with a quote from the only christmas movie I quote, It’s a Wonderful Life: “No man is a failure who has friends.” Why that line has always resonated with me…but it hooked me into the discussion.
You are choosing a life of love
But you are also chosen
Grouping up to become one
“How did it feel to be chosen?” I want to start asking my students.
And I was struck by one young man’s comment that people “can go away,” so we give them our heaviest word, our strongest attempt at living: love
To leave–to end the choice–to choose not to be chosen. To fall out of the pool. To choose your self or new others over former beloveds… but ultimately creating a chain of people. All of them are one–are one group–through my connection = my chain. And what if there were mutual respect because we are all links of the same chain? What if you cut someone out of the chain? Then? My spiritual development has been so shaped by my community. This is the first one that has given me words for my experience. I have filled.