13 January, 2013

January Shenanigans: Teaching Trendy

Image: 42, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tourist_on_earth's Photostream

Day 1 of January Shenanigans begins with some early practice for a Creative Nonfiction class that I'm taking this semester. It's something I mused on about before, but this piece was fun to put together, making it short, simple, and...well creative.

    “Know thyself,” A brother once told me. “Embrace yourself.”

    Those were the hardest things that I have ever done in my life. All the teachers from high school past were all, “Be hip and cool”. This gave the impression that life is a game about selling yourself as one would with Hollister sweatshirts. All to say that I was a cool magnet, sacrificing my love of science fiction for the sake of reputation at the price of $59.50.

    I didn’t enjoy this journey. I was being pulled into high school drama that I really had nothing to do with. If that’s what it takes to play with the cool kids, then why did they want me to make the effort in the first place?

    All my family and I ever wanted was for me to get my education then climb up the mountains of higher education. Of course, I did graduate with something and now I’m treading on that rocky pathway that many call university.

    That’s not the point. It all goes back to what my comrade said.

    “If you can’t do neither,” She said. “Then you’ll do jack squat the rest of your life.”

    And that was the problem, it was all about reputation back then. But what did it actually do? Hanging out at the cool table was not worthy for any resume, much less someone’s life.

    This I learned the hard way after I looked back at the place, in the cap and gown that would liberate me from unnecessary tasks. While there were the heroes, tutors and fellow students, there were the proctors prompting trends. One guy lashed out because I said something that everybody else agreed with.

    That’s when I learned the most important lesson. Not just about knowing and embracing myself, but the fact that reality is too big for trendy to work. That’s when I sighed, telling myself what a relief it was to finally stand on my own two feet.

    And because of that, I actually have friends now, not to mention an old sweater for sale. 

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