Academia Dirge

You know he’s Norman Normal, He looks a lot like you.
Ev’ry party that Norman goes to
You’ve been there before,
He’s got some funny things he might have said
That he forgets until they close the door.
You know he’s Norman Normal, He acts a lot like you.

Sometimes I feel
Like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel
Like a motherless child
A long…a long way…from home

Another Semester
Sept/Dec `72

On this first day of class, I am promenading among the multitudes once again. The many flavors of University are obvious. Sidewalk chalked markings of various radical movements greet me, and, glancing up, I see bouncing breasts of braless chicks exhibiting their individualism. In an incredible display of drama I see students reunite with friends and Professors. They reinforce goals and purpose in this way—whether for fame, fortune, or marriage; this is indeed the college trip. Long ago I realized this performance contributed nothing to an already worthless play.

Once, an excited and eager student myself, I bought into the endless erudition flowing from the mouths of educators. I thirsted for knowledge, albeit the knowledge that kept me from seeing the
fictitious university ideals, but I learned fast and now I’m back.
And, although I am still in the performance, I am fully aware of the
masquerade. I have breached the `nausea of intent,’ and remain
outside of the drama. This is an anti-climatic play—it’s purpose
simply void.

In this world I am alone, but I do not mind loneliness. For the
aspiring student, university is a `means to an end,’ but for me it is
simply `an end.’ I eat for survival first, and then for fun. To
survive, I feed my mind. Sometimes it even feels good. Here, at
university, I am centered within a smorgasbord of sustenance. I am a creature of desire and satisfaction in a culture of excess.

Upon my return to CMU, after a gratifying summer bicycle trip, thus began my first day of class. My classes were Cultural Anthropology, Music Appreciation, Theories of Personality, and Existentialism. After a week, however, I was back in the Personnel Office, updating my work application. It had only been a year and half since I used to sit in that office, waiting for employment, doing my homework. Once again I told Terry, the director, that I wanted a job, and I would quit school to get it. He knew I was serious. He said, “I’ll see what I can do.”


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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4 Responses to Academia Dirge

  1. eof737 says:

    Memories of college days… 🙂

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Memories, yes, for the most part, that’s my blog. The other reason I blog, though, is more difficult to ascertain. It has to do with communicating an original philosophy, a structural philosophy that is both coherent and consistent with the About section of this blog. Thanks for the comment.

  2. CaroleSue says:

    Hey……I took that picture…….didn’t know you had a copy too…….How cool!!

  3. bwinwnbwi says:

    Hey…..I guessed you took that picture too, but I can’t remember the details. I think it had something to do with that almost full bottle of tequila sitting on your kitchen table which, in the morning light, turned out to be empty–or am I wrong….How cool to be that young and that free!

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