Friday, 17 April 2009

BEDA 17 - What I owe

As you already know from previous blog posts of mine, I am currently deciding what to do with the next chapter of my life. And as much as I'd like to, I'm not gonna molest you with another one of those. However, it made me think about something.

I have spent quite some time on my education. Now even if I wanted to drop all that and stay at my fictional hideaway in a beach house in Lisbon, I probably shouldn't. For my generation, a college education is something everyone can achieve. Well... at least where I live. It wasn't a problem for me to go to grammar school and then to university and now graduate school. But think back for a couple of decades...

In the photo above, you see some of my ancestors. One of them was an exceptionally bright and witty woman. She was among the first women to attend grammar school and she could have become a lawyer, doctor, professor... but life got in the way. She had to quit and take care of her parents when they got old. It was her duty as the oldest daughter. Even after that, her life was very difficult and she got cynical. She still had her wit and she used it lavishly on those around her. Obviously, she wasn't the most liked person in our family, but we all appreciated her for who she was.

One of my favourite quotes of hers:

Person A: You'll send me to an early grave.
Tati: That's something you've tried to console us with many times before.

She died last year at the age of 98.

If I think of the generations before me, I feel obligated to continue my education. Use the years I have spent at university. I feel like I owe it to them. My parents always say that it's good fortune that they aren't rich so I'm forced to work. They think that if I didn't have to earn my own money, I would just lie around all day doing nothing. I'm still not 100% sure if they are right or wrong, but let's face it: I'll probably never find out.

Unless there's a handsome rich guy out there that desperately wants to pay for my living expenses... but even then that would'nt feel right. I've always felt that I want to contribute. Want my life to add something to the world that hasn't been there before. Not out of nostalgia or unnecessary sentimentality (I have a previous blog post about the topic of being remembered when you're dead), but because I owe it to them. I'm not a religious person or I would say I owe it to God, but I think I owe it to people in my past like my great aunt Tati.

Lyrics of the day:

I wish I could go back to college.
Life was so simple back then.

What would I give to go back and live in a dorm with a meal plan again!

I wish I could go back to college.
In college you know who you are.
You sit in the quad, and think, "Oh my God!
I am totally gonna go far!"

How do I go back to college?
I don't know who I am anymore!

I wanna go back to my room and find a message in dry-erase pen on the door!
I wish I could just drop a class...

Or get into a play...

Or change my major...

Or fuck my T.A.

I need an academic advisor to point the way!
We could be...
Sitting in the computer lab,
4 A.M. before the final paper is due,
Cursing the world 'cause I didn't start sooner,
And seeing the rest of the class there, too!

I wish I could go back to college!

How do I go back to college?!

I wish I had taken more pictures.

But if I were to go back to college,
Think what a loser I'd be-
I'd walk through the quad,
And think "Oh my God..."

"These kids are so much younger than me."

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