Saturday, November 25, 2006

it took fifteen minutes for my professor to trash my hopes, marr my future and make me late for class. why couldn't he have just said no?

willy loman, death of a salesman. he was a hero with a tragic flaw - he wanted to be great. he wanted to be great so badly that he created a whole new reality for himself and killed himself when it fell to pieces. it's thanks to people like my professor the world isn't made up entirely of willy lomans. people like him manage to shatter your dreams and bring you back to earth before you even take off.

almost from birth, we are taught to embrace the greatness. in kindergarten, we are praised for being first in the class to read or tie our shoes. in elementary school, the gifted are pulled out of class and given special projects to complete. in high school, those at the top of the class are showered with awards and told their futures are bright. reach for the moon, we are taught, and even if you miss you'll land among the stars. we can do anything if we try hard enough.

it's all lies.

what no one mentions is that when a big fish leaves the little pond, she will become a little fish in a big pond and will only ever be a little fish in a big pond. for the first time in her life, she realizes that she will never be good enough to achieve her dreams. she might do alright in many things; she may even do pretty well in some things. but she will never be great at anything. shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you can still lie in your backyard at night and watch the stars.

my prof said that he could write me a great recommendation now, but, despite my 'very impressive CV', he would like to wait until I have proven to him my dedication to science by getting a research position. by fourth year, he said, most students looking to go to grad school have lots of research experience and published papers, and I will have to work very hard to catch up to their level. this is what I have trouble understanding. how much harder am I supposed to work? it is only november and I am already uncapable of staying awake through a one-hour lecture. I have run out of meals to skip. I work efficiently and have come to see procrastination as a luxury of first-years. the world is slightly blurry and I am slightly light-headed all the time. is life supposed to be this hard?

all you dream-crushers out there? are you taking notes?

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