It is hard to say exactly where to go from here. Often I prefer to imagine life and most endeavors as a series of calculated obstacles and achievements, but in the spirit of metaphysical appreciation and optimism, a spirit in which I do not often indulge, I will say that I hope to work out the kinks in my arsenal of knowledge. Community service has not changed in my mind, it will continue to fill the same role it always has, allowing interests and concerns to manifest themselves as action. The resources at Baruch are one of the many appeals of the honors program, and it would be a fallacy to claim that we all fulfilled the duties of freshman seminar alone. The databases, the back and forth dialogue, as well as the much appreciated aid of our mentor and advisor made this a painless process. And for that we must all be very grateful.
I have never been one to actively pursue clubs, though I found myself constantly engaged in them over the past few years. More often than not interests and activities will simply align themselves, so that one finds him or herself in the place that seems to make the most sense. I firmly believe this trend will continue for me. The next semester, I imagine, will prove interesting. Perhaps I will not get lost as often as I did the first week in school, attending many minutes of lectures I was not registered for. There are only so many hours I can give to every facet of the day. Internships, jobs, riding the subway, I will try to stretch my time as much as it allows, and hopefully still leave room for the more relaxed nights of watching embarrassing science fiction and teaching my rats to do tricks.
Over the next three years my only actual goal is to convert my energy into useful knowledge, and sharpen an efficient plan out of my academic life. Whether I finally end up in the circus, or behind a shabby desk, this knowledge will apply. With any luck this selection of years will be an exhaustive but satisfyingly enjoyable project, and perhaps a little fun as well. I suppose in the ever-ethereal “grand scheme of things” college should be a memory of fondness and timeless value, perhaps we test this assumption as much as it tests us, and that is really the most we can ask for.
I have gone through high school and most of my life as a student despising any task that I was told to do without any sort of justification. The number of things we are given and told to do simply “because” grows with each year we age. When I was little at least the adults in charge held a level of pretense at meaning, until they had successfully trained us not to ask why. Because is there anything more annoying than a child constantly asking why? The real worry actually being, is there anything more frightening than a person not asking why? Now I realize this sounds bad on my part, but I promise I am not a terrible selfish cynic, it wasn’t the aspect of hard work that set me off, it was the taste of requirements that I could make no sense of. I watched in high school as people composed pages of resume fillers and completed tasks they did not understand. In the clubs I ran or worked on it was very easy to sort the swarms of people, to see who would drop in, take on one task, and write it down on a useless piece of paper. This hardly seems a reasonable use of time, of anyone’s time. ‘Having said that, I don’t want to lend the impression I do not work, I simply loathe inefficiency and unexplained tasks. I was not often a popular face in class, questioning the purpose and motivation of all our assignments, falling short of meeting teacher expectations of “suck-uppery” and “brown-nosing.”
As a scholar, and simply as a student, this college has afforded me a great luxury, the chance to hack away at the knowledge they store in great masses, and for an excellent rate. I despise resumes, but my love of hard work and consistent activity will leave me quite busy I am sure. Then we must arrive at the ever-present question, what is our responsibility to the community? As scholars we are indeed required to perform a set number of hours each semester, but all of this continues to prod at that overbearing query. Is it our responsibility to give back for all that we were given and everything that we earned? In many ways yes. But it is my firm belief that acts done in a compulsory nature are hardly as worthwhile as those that a person considers fully and through this understanding does in an agreeable fashion. I am excited to work for an organization that I feel is worthwhile. Supposedly we are to learn something new about ourselves in college, to gain that traditional young adult experience those movies harp on about. I hope to learn everything I can, try to maintain my grade point average and put an end to my curiosity about what exactly allows people to stop asking questions. If I fulfill this, and work hard to lend a hand to the community, then perhaps I have succeeded in my responsibility as a scholar and young adult, whatever that means.
When I was a small child instead of real toys and movies my brother and I were given science kits and owl pellets to dissect. We were allowed to have lots of pets, take care of gardens, and create incredibly ugly art projects. It wasn’t a particularly exciting childhood, or at least not cinema quality, but I suppose one could argue that it was the nights of rock tumbling and caring for hermit crabs, snapping turtles and snakes that shaped me, at least partially. I give this not to boast or claim a perfect cinematic, cliché indie film of a childhood (which it most definitely was not) but as a disclosure to hopefully explain away my many oddities and flaws. Though the snake eventually escaped and we all walked a little more cautiously around the basement, I have nothing but fond memories of being little. I read, constantly, and from any book that is nearby. It could be cheesy science fiction, with the cover that only a truly oblivious author would accept, or old fashioned fairy tales, the kind in which rabbit holes are large enough to fall in and the doldrums is a place you pass on your way to Dictionopolis, or even just compilations of “fun facts”. The thing about literature that I love, and consequently the only thing that angry over-protective parents and I agree upon, is the magnitude of the effect that books and authors have on young minds. To this day I am terrified of Ebola Zaire, often finding any number of reasons to diagnose myself with this violent African strain. I hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu a year ago and after sixty miles my pinky toe nail fell off. I proceeded to terrify students and teachers alike with vivid imagery on the indicative signs that pointed to the Ebola virus as the culprit. Perhaps one might say that censorship has its place, if only for the sake of other people who have to listen to this absurdity. College was not exactly my first choice, I intended to join the circus, for about two years, and then applied to culinary school. On a whim I submitted the application to Baruch honors and found myself enrolled this fall, much to the relief of my parents. Therefore my expectations were not fully formed upon arriving to such an institution. I despise inefficiency and much like the Ebola virus intend to work quickly and often in order to meet whatever end to which college is supposed to bring me.