Friday, April 20, 2007

My College Education

an excerpt from my honors capstone thesis - an ongoing work-in-progress

The majority of my college career has not, I’m afraid, been devoted to academic study. Rather, it has been a continual examination of myself, the world around me, and the infinite number of contact points between the two that we often call human experience.

For four years I’ve searched for happiness in the smiles and tears of experience: traveling, listening, writing, adventuring, exploring. Four years of arguing with monks and with atheists, attending poetry slams, strip shows, and a Catholic mass. I’ve slept on the backs of holy mountains waking to the sound of birds making break-beats with their beaks, and walked into the desert alone to contemplate the meaning of silence. I’ve clinked glasses with friends from five continents and made love in three languages. I’ve eaten dog, goat, turtle, frog, scorpion, yak, and rabbit skull. I’ve seen someone I care about lose their mind. I’ve lost things that were precious to me, got some of them back, and felt lighter without the rest. I’ve crossed oceans clear as crystal and camped out next to rivers black as the coal that pollutes them. I’ve loved more fiercely than my brain knew was possible, and hurt so bad that I’ll never forget the feeling of a sob like a heart-choke at the back of my throat. I been a best friend and a brother, a student and a teacher, a boxer and a poet, a patron and a bum. I've been treated as a god, a foreigner, a devil, and a clown. I've thought about things from so many perspectives I've come close to negating their existence. I've watched sunsets that have made me cry.

I’ve learned an awful lot in college.

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