Old Sock Drawer

a story to tell, a novel you keep in a drawer

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#073: In pursuit of erudition

November 16th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “The Jeep Song” – The Dresden Dolls

As I hurried/was blown into Swing this damp morning, I couldn’t help but overhear this snippet from some despondent student’s plaintive cry to her friend. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this! We were supposed to get an education, and then we would have everything!”

Funny how we expect education to be correlational to our supposed acquisition of everything we could ever want, or at least, everything we could complain about not having. In the process, education is ripped asunder, worn down into its parts of mere marks and revision and missed early-morning lectures – some sort of necessary and damningly arbitrary process we must bustle through in order to attain the Holy Grail of everything oh so shiny and marvellous – but what of erudition, of learning for learning’s sake? Of education, not as a means to an end, but the pursuit of knowledge for its own worth? Of us, not being mere cogs stuck in the machine that plods on chewing up ideas! creativity! and spitting out carbon-copy thought processes deemed Acceptable in every sense. Free thought is encouraged, but only if it fits in that rather carefully crafted box of Acceptability with a capital A all neat sharp points and angular lines – none of that loopy trailing ink staining outside the lines doodling down the margins for what is the Purpose? its Price? for god forbid we fill our minds for the sheer ecstasy of knowing!

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