Here are some just-received words of advice from the keyboard of old Ukee friend Markus (now moved on to bigger and better), whose judgment is unimpeachable:
I think I forgot to say, FUCK UNIVERSITY.
Don’t do it. Since commencing a Masters in 2000, I have stopped writing songs and poems. And stopped dancing — which used to be my identity, no shit. People that knew me before then think of me mainly as a dancing fool.
Nuff said. It kills your soul. Fuck that. Now I work for [a government department].
Okay, that about puts paid to that little pipe dream, ’cause i trust Mark’s opinion more than my own. I also must admit to serious subterranean doubts about the ultimate use of more skoolin’, as i’ve mentioned in a previous entry.
This here’s a good spot to post this Life in Hell cartoon, which spoke to me so eloquently some years ago that i went to some trouble to scan it, and then hang onto the file all this time, now to be posted for your edification. (Click to enlarge, duh.)
Jee-zus Kee-flippin-rist. As i type this entry musing on my own self-worth, the TeeVee next to the computer displays three musical geniuses playing a Haydn piano-violin-cello trio (i dunno which one). They are twelve years old.
And i gives up.
I stopped in at Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus in passing yesterday, just to see what it felt like. The neighbourhood was appealing: cafes, people with computers, bookshops, hole-in-the-wall eateries … there was an energy and an urgency that interested me.
Inside the building itself, though, the feeling was sterile. Businesslike. Not the fecund warmth i’d be looking for in a school, the hotbed of ideas. Possibly the mountaintop campus holds that atmosphere; the downtown campus was more like a business training centre — NOT what i’m looking for. Though i did take several classes there, years ago, in the Writing & Pub program, and enjoyed them.
Tonight, over daquiris, i talked to Devon, a friend of Rob’s who’s doing a masters in architecture at Dalhousie. Did it sound appealing? Not really. What i’m seeking is a riveting subject, i suppose. But i’m also pining for the university surroundings — the ideas, the sense of nascent becoming…. But i’m also suspicious of the arrogance and false sense of entitlement a university seems to encourage. As David Orr, environmental studies professor at Oberlin College , said some years ago:
“The product of a university degree is a population trained in hypocrisy.”
Off to University of BC tomorrow — the institution that lost my faith years ago, the day it sold its student body to Coca Cola, by way of the cafeteria and vending machines.