By Harry Pearse
We are back. And I am not sure about you guys, but I was bloody excited to get back in a classroom and study some good ol’ academia. Well, not the homework and the long hours of studying before midterms and finals. Nor the anxiety episodes of thinking about reading a thousand pages and writing a review in two days, especially with the nostalgia of having your shirt off, hands behind your head, soaking up a tan on the dreamy beaches of Mexico (or, for me, Long Beach).
However, the excitement of being challenged, of putting the skepticism about the presidential debate into scholastic satisfaction. We might even let a well-qualified professor change our close-minded minds just once…now, even at LIU Brooklyn.
Although my summer was filled with work. By ‘work’, I mean that I coached soccer to kids, every day, in the scorching sun, and partied it up with my fellow free folk in Manhattan. Academically, I didn’t reach targets I wanted to reach. For example, I wanted to read Hegel’s essays on aesthetics; I wanted to learn the guitar, at least a few more chords than I already know; I also wanted to read Rene Descartes’s meditations. But I never seemed to have enough time, which, in hindsight, is completely bizarre to me.
On the other hand, I presume that most of you may agree with me on this one. We spend so much time mentally as well as physically concentrated on getting amazing grades during the school year that we deplete our pedagogic fire, that burning desire to learn more. (Well, maybe only for some of us) So, when the summer comes, we say “to hell with it. I’m going to forget school and those absurdly overpriced books and focus on having an absolute ball over the summer!”
This is incredibly important.We all need to de-stress, relax,or chillax away from the frightening, manic and dogmatic period of the semesters.
A wanderlustful guru, who I proudly call one of my best friends, Seb Baxter, an MBA graduate student, said, “just follow the free love freeway and see where life takes you.” I remember the moment that he said this clearly. It was a beautiful, and rare summer’s day in the chic, stylish and gorgeous city of Gothenburg, Sweden, overlooking Poseidon himself… are you there? Great. Because when he spoke those words of autonomy to me, I grabbed it with both hands!
I bet most of you are thinking that this glorious story, which I am sure you are all very excited about, ends and then school started. But, in fact, that’s not how it finishes, because it hasn’t finished yet.
Why do we all dread the start of the new semester? We shouldn’t. I have approached this semester with open arms and with a hungry mind looking to gobble up any information I can. College isn’t a burden. It’s a time of pure opening and enlightenment—if you allow it to be, of course.
I am studying metaphysics this semester, the study of everything. Are you kidding me? I am going to get answers about questions that keep me awake at night, questions like “who am I? What is it to Be?” This really does “get my juices flowing,” as my coach would put it.
So please, fellow colleagues, take every opportunity that this semester presents. Do your work to the best of your abilities. Turn up to your classes (prob- ably with a large coffee), ready to open your mind to the endless and infinite things you may learn. As Aristotle once said, “the roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.” Let’s go and have great semester, and suffer through all the hardships, to then reap the rewards of knowledge. Good luck.