Fall break has started and I am ready for a long weekend! I will probably not post over the weekend as I usually do; weekends home are not nearly as boring as weekends at school, so I will have less time to post ;o) But here is a poem to tide you over until Tuesday. It’s more of “whiney” poem, I suppose, than the others I’ve put on here. It came from some frustration I had yesterday about college, about the current education system that I consider to be flawed in many ways, flawed with good and bad intentions.
I do want to be clear that, while I may complain about college in the poem, I do not mean to reflect upon my particular school or the wonderful people who run it. I see the source of my frustrations as the education system itself, a broken and nonsensical game that we all play because we must. So with that in mind, here is
an impromptu poem, written in a fit of frustration and sleep-deprivation, and thus true college student poetry.
I am writing this on Friday night,
very late, and I am very very
Books lay at my feet,
books several inches thick,
which I will attempt to sell when I am through with them.
I was talking with someone today at college about college,
about how ridiculously expensive it is,
about how we are forced to learn what we are not studying,
for a well-rounded education
that we don’t desire,
because we have passions
that we have come to pursue.
I learned this week that I need two language classes
to satisfy the state.
They only offer Spanish but my heart was set on Russian.
I also need two gym classes
because, although I am an adult,
I do not know how to go to the gym by myself
(the three times a week I lift weights and kick-box don’t count).
My well-rounded education costs a five-figure sum,
which I can’t afford,
and which I will be paying for until my children are my age.
I am frustrated, to say the least.
But I am also conflicted,
because I do love to learn,
I love waking up and hearing bells toll
in the sandstone steeple where birds sleep.
I love sitting at a desk, jotting down notes,
while my world is expanded and my reality stretches.
I love being challenged and awed and inspired.
But there comes a tap on my shoulder;
the reality that stretched for me snaps back like a rubber band.
I must spend half my time on things I did not come here for,
I must ask the government to give me money,
I must learn my language and take my gym class.
I must do as I am told like a good little girl.
Because I must have a well-rounded education,
and I didn’t go to school twelve years before this at all,
so I have never learned math or science before.
My eyes have been opened!
How foolish of me to think
that my love of books is not well-rounded!
I must not only study literature,
because Geometry is enormously helpful when you are writing a book.
I must not only study poetry,
because Aerobics class is great for the metaphors.
I must not only learn to be a writer,
because when that fails (as they seem to assume it will),
my well-rounded education will keep me afloat.
They pat me on the head and give me a scroll,
a tassel on my hat and off I go,
head crammed with things I don’t remember,
with a price tag attached.
Now I mean something!
Now I am well-rounded.
It is not their fault, I know.
They do as they are told, like good little children.
So I do not mean to be rude,
because I am very grateful.
The opportunity I have
is a blessing.
But I am sick of playing games,
and I am very very