I write this sitting next to a table of young women likely in their second year of university. A few excerpts,
(regarding intro to philosophy)
– I mean I sat there the whole class listening to the professor ask whether or not a coffee cup was really there. I mean this is the most retarded thing. I haven’t learned a single fact. I don’t know what to study. I mean look at this textbook (pulls it out). What the hell is that . . . hieroglyphics (Of Grammtology?). I mean I don’t need this I just wanted it as a GPA booster. And its not going to be that.
– I don’t think I want to take the LSATS. I mean there is so much hypocrisy in law. How could I feel good at the end of the day. But now I’m screwed. I don’t even know what I’m doing with myself. I’m thinking, like, social work. I’m even looking at occupational therapy. The work seems really interesting. It works with body and mind . . . and its helping people. I don’t know. I’m so lost. I mean I always wanted to be vet.
– Yah but you have to put animals down.
– I always wanted to be an actress or a teacher.
– There is nothing I feel passionate about except dogs.
– Maybe you could be a dog groomer?
– But I want to make lots of money. Well I mean I don’t need to make a hundred thousand dollars.
– I saw X the other night and she looked so different. She’s so skinny now.
– Does she look better?
– Yah, I think she got prettier.
(extended exchange on Facebook and text activity)
I really don’t know what to do with myself. Laugh, cry, scream. And all of this intoned in a thoroughly unconscious valley girl accent (all four of them!). They all want to be good and nice. They want to help people. They don’t want too much but they want enough. And then, oh mercy, they cut people down. I really loved the I haven’t learned any facts comment about philosophy. Just give me something I can categorize, put my hands on, show to others! Just don’t make me think through this!
Update! Two young men walk in and take their seats. And in mid conversations,
– Reading Donald Miller, was revolutionary. Reading it now, I’m like this is totally where I’ve been in the last two years.
(after losing the conversation for awhile I pick up on it again)
– So I’ve been working on my potato cannon . . .
I don’t even know.
The young women are still here. They continue to explore what the future holds for them. Again there is this tepid middle road they desire. I want to love what I do. I want to make a decent income. I don’t need to drive a Porsche. And then finally the line comes. I just want to be comfortable. Is this what will kill us in the end?