"School is a very important thing. . . .

". . . but it should never be allowed to interfere with getting an education."

College Fun, Nerd Style

  i had a blast in college.  i really did, though i was known as the egghead who never had time to party.
   One semester, though, i probably had taken too many courses with too much reading.  Fifteen hours of Renaissance drama, Novel, Linguistics, Dynamics of Culture Change, British history - something like that.
 Or maybe that was the semester of the six hour Humanities course.  It was a long time ago.
  Anyway, i decided there were not enough hours in the day to actually read Moby Dick.  Mind you, i'd wanted to read Moby Dick, actually wanted to, since i started high school, but two weeks was not enough to do the book justice.  (A few years ago, my inlaws gave it to me as a Christmas gift.  And i thoroughly enjoyed the two years i took to get through it.)
  But Moby, with everything else, no way.

Beating the System?

  So, being a very accomplished library user by then, i scrounged Master Plots and everything else i could find about it.  Took about an hour one evening.
  Another evening, when i was at the mall bookstore, i bought a CliffsNotes on Moby.    Skimming it took another hour. 
  i'd had lots of experience with this prof.  He announced the test would be a single essay question over --- the epilogue.
  i read the epilogue a dozen times.  There was an obscure mythological name i didn't know.  i couldn't find it in the library, but i did have a copy of Dover's Dictionary of Greek and Roman mythology - bingo!

  The question was to define Ixion's relation to the story.
  i aced it.

System Beaten, or Succeeded in Despite Itself?

  So, what's my point?
  Did i beat the system and circumvent learning?  Sacrifice my integrity for an A?
  What's the point of an education anyway?
  Doesn't my story show creative use of time, love of learning, persistence   toward the goal, research skills using traditional and untraditional sources, understanding of the people i work with?  Innovative thinking skills even?
  An A is kinda cool but, in a real sense, meaningless.  If i had read Moby Dick in two weeks, it would have been a rushed, sterile experience.  i would have missed everything that makes it wonder-full, that earned it inclusion in the course.

  It's been about three years since i finished the book.  Anyone up for a discussion of Moby Dick?

1 comment:

  1. Never read it... perhaps I should add it to my growing list!


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