Friday, September 17, 2004

In the Beginning.


"The fog comes on little cat feet."
- Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)

Disillusionments and awakenings do not happen instantaneously or over a short period of time. You do not just wake up one morning and decide. It happens slowly, gradually, insidiously. Creeping in unaware on little cat feet.

You do not just wake up one fine morning and decide to get rid of everything you own, uproot all your social links, and transplant yourself in a totally alien environment. Well, not for me anyway.


I suppose we could simply blame it all on the fact that I was never a very good student...

My parents honestly believed that a getting a degree was the means by which we could improve our lot in life. However being blessed with limited intelligence and being of a restless nature, it was a labourous chore at best. As a kid I was always looking for the easier (read: lazier) way to do things. And often getting into trouble for it.

I was the guy who skipped classes in secondary school and junior college whenever I could get away with it.

I was the guy who chao keng all the way during NS and was lucky enough to get away with it even though I was not a white horse.

I was the antisocial sitting the back of the lecture theatre reading Philosophy during Programming, studying Economics during Electronics tutorials and reading Art Design in the A.I. labs. Doing the absolute minimal work possible to reach the optimum result (i.e. to graduate) with the barest of safety margins.

Seriously I do not recall anyone after university caring two cents on what courses I did, let alone what I scored in them (mainly D's). But then I do not work for the civil service where academic excellence is predominantly used to measure human talent.

Most importantly, my lack of attentiveness during my formal education allowed me to slip quietly through the indoctrination processes. In spite of the highly efficient millstones of the formal education system, I escaped with some of the my independent thought facilities intact.

To use the imagery from The Matrix: It is not as if I intentionally chose to take the red pill. I was just not paying attention and sort of forgot to check-in when the blue pills were being mass-distributed and force-fed.

Thus I now must bear this curse.

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