Sunday, December 12, 2010

Clean Slate

I see big pictures, I think in relationships, and I can't fit into boxes. Categories confuse me, discrete separations and definitive endings don't make sense to me. I laugh at straight lines.
I am wound up in spirals; from the DNA strands in my cells, to the muscular wrapping of my body following the same patter, to the continual and ever-evolving relationships within myself, and between my environment and I. I see connections, and I have a hard time grasping the concept that any two things would not be interdependent.

My frustration with the formal education system stems from this way of thinking, because it clashes with our traditional structure of learning- one that names, categorizes, and differentiates concepts into their own personal vacuums, away from interactions and "safe" to probe, analyze and draw empirical, yet meaningless data. I say meaningless because the world is the furthest thing from a vacuum, everything is constantly interacting and influencing everything else. It simply made no sense to talk about aspects of this world as if they didn't affect each other. When I would ask a question in class, most of the answers I got were unsatisfactory and along the lines of, "That is beyond the scope of this class," or "That's an interesting question, you should research it," or "There is no way to answer that question within the realm of what we know empirically to be true."
I would leave class both excited about the possibilities science has to unfold really important questions about the universe, health and our existence, while simultaneously feeling unfulfilled and disappointed that science seems to be more concerned with finding the smallest unit of life (a search which continually proves fruitless), making life easier and/or more unhealthy (as in radio-technology, and genetic modification) and also angry that my so-called liberal arts college would not support the quest for knowledge of our world and instead sent me away with discouraging answers to my questions as if deeming them inconsequential.
And so began a search for a new direction. My path has been winding.

I struggled with the decision of whether or not to leave the systematized and accepted structure of institutional higher education in search of finding other pathways of learning that would fit better into the way my mind works, to engage in the real world in the job market, to take the classic "misfit/alternative" path of backpacking through some obscure country to "find myself." I questioned if this was a question of discipline that I simply needed to apply myself and try harder to fit into the system of education this society values; to grin and bear it, get my diploma and then find my place within the system (or outside of it). I addressed issues of guilt over the cost of a piece of paper that supposedly gives accreditation to an individual's knowledge and worth, and weighed the advantages of opting for massage/yoga/Ayurveda school instead.

So after a long period of indecision, oscillating between a number of possibilities, and opportunities; after more tears than I care to admit, and more second opinions than first ones, I have finally almost come to a decision. For now.

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