Friday, May 12, 2006

The Vacation of Will

So I’ve finished my sophomore year at Davidson College. So I’m only 2 months away from not being a “teen” anymore. So what? I don’t feel smarter. I swear that I didn’t learn that much this year. Was it really worth $30,000+? Maybe I’m just still reeling from exams about Vietnam and political parties. Both very interesting and informative. I could tell you all about NSAM 122 or the BCRA of 2002. However, I feel frustrated that that information won’t get me gainful employment. In fact, I happened to acquire an internship this summer merely by being a Davidson student and being related to the CEO’s good buddy.
I am a complete advocate of the theory of the liberal arts education. Teach people to think. And so I have presumably learned to think and write and analyze, but I can’t quantify that very easily. I tell people that I’m a history major, and then have to explain that I am aware that the intricate knowledge of modern China’s political history will not help me in my future occupation (becoming secretary of state notwithstanding). I will always value my college experience, but as I’ve already learned in the last half of a week, I don’t intend to be a professional student. At least not the way I’ve been for the last 16 years. I know many of my friends who fully intend to spend another 2-5 more years in school after Davidson, and while I appreciate the need for a graduate degree in order to get hired in several occupations, I don’t even know what I would want to study in grad school. I picked history at Davidson not because it’s a field that I want to pursue, but rather that it’s me. All of my male predecessors (dad, granddad, uncles, etc) were history majors. My family is history, period. And while I appreciate that knowledge for social reasons, I don’t see it to be profitable and that’s the bottom line now. You have to pay for rent/mortgage, gas, food, insurance, dependants, football tickets, shoes, electronics, cable bill…
Everyone says that the perfect life is to be able to get paid to pursue your passion. I agree. But does everyone have to have a “passion”? At least passion in the sense that our society dictates? It seems that the ones who aren’t gung-ho and emotional about something are just too lazy or ignorant to find their “passion” which inherently exists inside them. I enjoy sports, writing, talking, thinking, movies, music, good food, and interesting people. I don’t consider those things “passions” to be pursued, but rather entities that are within my flow of inertia. They don’t go against the grain, and therefore feel good. And so I ask the Career Services office about the janitor and café workers downstairs. Are they pursuing their passions for stacking Gatorade in a fridge? Or is just that only the intelligent and “hard-working” are privy to having attainable passions and that the rest of the world is just trying to get there. If everything is about pursuing jobs of passion and vocation, then we wouldn’t have anyone in the services industry. No one to clean up after us. At least I would presume. So then those persons in those jobs become either unlucky or lazy in our eyes because we have no other way to justify their importance.
Ultimately, I have found out a lot about the world outside the walls of Davidson. Life is lived beyond the work. When we always attempt to justify the work through its inherent value, we will become jaded. Some work really just isn’t that important or fulfilling. But it allows us to continue on with a roof, food, and some resources. Life is about making the after-5 fulfilling. It’s about going to a local restaurant to hear a church band play. Or sitting with family learning about the way things used to be and getting to teach them about the way things will be. It’s about going sailing on the lake with friends. It’s hokey, but it’s my summer creed. And I now declare it. Summer is on. And once again, it isn’t about the work. It’s about what I learn about myself and the times I spend with others. It’s time for the “Vacation” of Will (Summer of Will was already taken).

1 comment:

Will said...

Damn right it's already taken.