Instrument conveying knowledge
Patient. A saint.
swirling colours of paint
Conductors to their striking band;
Cubs of a loyal Lion
Arrival at some unknown land;
Scratch the surface with my talon
Dull, a boar, my head is splitting
Time persists yet stands still
Eager, invaluable, intrigued, so exciting!
O Joy! The daily thrill
Sir and Madam, hate or trust
Moulders of our fate
Sad to lose, dear memorable loss
My Hero. Perfect trait
Returning to studies at the ‘unconventional’ age of 28, you wonder how you will be perceived by the ‘younger’ lot. I have just finished an Access course for English Writing and Media and throughout the year I found myself, during many moments, thinking; my vocabulary is shit compared to theirs, this person is 10 years younger than I am and knows so much and I could be their sugardaddy (minus the cash). Despite the above, I refused to sit still or cower away in doubt. If there was anything I was not sure of or did not understand my hand would shoot up as fast as Hermione Granger’s (imagine being in the classroom with me!). Teacher’s can be the making or breaking point in pupils’ advancement and fortunately for me, we had been given a tutor who deserves every inch of respect she gets and every bit of praise declared below.
Dr Shelley Deasey. Aesthetically pleasing (which, come on, we all want when we have to trudge to class in the rain or snow), incredibly approachable, a person with whom, after one class, you already want to befriend, pop the cork of a vintage vino tinto and discuss books and poetry (zzzzzzzz). There is no other person I would rather have learnt from. I spent such an eye-opening year absorbing as much as I could possibly retain from her pool (sounds slightly ambiguous) of knowledge that I could not have felt more prepared to enter the 'best years of my life' (…at 28).
'Everything happens for a reason'; a change of circumstances, sometimes within just two seconds of each other, that one decision which could have led to a different ending. Whichever way you look at it; religiously or logically, the meaning has the same outcome. Everything is meant to be. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for me to look back at my life and regret any of it; leaving school early, partying harder than working (the minimum), staying in Brazil for longer than intended. If none of those had happened, things that I am doing today may not have been possible at all.
Here in England where every national has a right to a free/mandatory education, a person, like myself, who ‘chose’ the dark path of no education from a young age, tends to cause raised eyebrows, widened eyes and often a secret, yet perceptive, lift of one edge of the mouth into a smug, condescending grin from those who have taken the illuminated path of school, college, degree, enlightenment. To my fellow companions who have also emancipated themselves from the world of scheduled classes and scripted teaching to lead your own way, let us hold our arms up common-muck-X-Factor-style and deflect the glares and hairlines of those pompous, patronising, pillocks. (I’m not bitter, just a rambling ranter)
‘Education’ is a word which means so much in, and to, the world. Its meaning is desired by many, achieved by few (considering the human population) yet taken for granted by plenty. It is an ideal which either makes people feel inferior to others, or makes others feel as if they should claim superiority – the balance can be tricky. Instead of sharing knowledge like you would mince pies at Christmas, we become self-righteous from our stack of flaking pastry, pleased at seeing others with a humble one or two (no doubt this person also reaps their pleasures in schadenfreude?).
I have always been a firm believer that no one should be deemed ‘stupid’ or ‘thick’, and to label someone as such is simply plain arrogance. Not knowing how to work a fax machine, where to sign on a mortgage deed, how to describe the political spectrum of the right and left wing parties or even what some vegetables are called (in this crazy world of import/export), does not mean that the uninformed is stupid, just not as informed as the one questioning. This can easily be resolved -hand them a book on the subject and hey presto, you are both informed, knowledgeable, geniuses!
I once met a flight attendant for American Airlines called Wendy. I told her I was from Brazil and she asked if it was next to Portugal (cough). Jumping to conclusions we speak without thought; Brazil – Portuguese - Portugal (understandable). The same way a solicitor will not be acquainted with all the laws in the United Kingdom, a flight attendant will not know the locations of all the countries in the world. She blushed, we giggled and the comment evaporated. Not once did I tell her ‘Wow! You’re stupid’, or enquire ‘How thick are you?’ I know there are several out there who probably would.
I worry for the day I exit the great doors of graduation. Will I feel the need to introduce myself as the Messiah (or a very naughty boy)? Will my eyebrows raise and my mouth twitch into an Almighty sneer at those who have never read Ulysses or Paradise Lost? Or will I become a pie- hoarding sadist sat reading Harry Potter in Latin?
Whatever the outcome, I thank Dr Deasey for her positive influence.