Perfect spheres of glass; sparkling and transparent. That’s what college is.
I remember watching the movie Labyrinth as a child. I was fascinated by the “Goblin King”, David Bowie’s delicate juggling of glittering crystal balls. As he juggles the crystals, the camera zooms in to one of them, and the audience’s attention is focused on the crystal bubble. In the crystal ball, a porcelain doll is trapped in a music box, and she is within her bubble. We are then zoomed in to a world with an alternate reality, where nothing is what it seems to be.
(Watch from 2:05)
Right now I feel like the doll in her crystal ball.
More concrete than a gypsy’s crystal ball, the college crystal ball has more of a connection with my unforeseen future. Yet, trapped in that bubble of an artificial life, I often forget what is important to me and things that I enjoy doing. I become a mere automaton working on a fixed schedule, with planned breaks and space. Rousseau said in his treatise on the Origin of Inequality that
“The extreme inequality in the manner of living, the excessive idleness among some people, excessive labour for others, the ease with which we stimulate and satisfy our appetites and our sensuality, rich people’s overly sophisticated food, poor people’s bad diets, which most of the time they even have to go without, a lack which leads them to over-cram their stomachs greedily when they have an opportunity, staying up all night, every sort of excess, immoderate transports of all the passions, times of fatigue, mental exhaustion, depressions, and the numberless sorrows which people feel in all levels of society and which constantly wear away their souls—there you have the fatal proofs that most of our troubles are our own work and that we would have avoided almost all of them if we had kept to the simple, uniform, and solitary way of life which nature had prescribed for us”
His description seems to hold true for life in college, which seems to be detached from the real state of nature…
Universities, Colleges, Schools, whatever you call it, have a knack of sucking you in a whir of work, papers, grades and friends. If you’re fully involved in school, say goodbye to your alternate life…Unless you’re Clark Kent or something, and if that is the case, then God bless you :P.
Deeper question: If Dunya is the alternate reality and our reality is the unknown world, then why are we in a perpetual cycle of cog screws and sweat for something that is temporary?