Don't be thinking that this is some incredible poem--it is not. But the first verse is sweet (the 2nd one is okay, too, but then the poem goes limp); this first verse is etched in my brain. I spew it out on occasion to impress people. It works.
About my first 2 years of higher education: I was pretty damn disappointed with them. Here I was being all idealistic about how cool it's going to be to learn incredible new things, and all we do is fill in bubble tests from programmed textbooks of casual knowledge. This costs $800 a quarter? Who the fuck came up with this scam? But one night while I was parking cars I came up with the idea to write about my "playful" disappointment. I was still idealistic; surely they can't expect us to just take bubble tests and call it a college education. No. I was sure that real learning was coming; and, I didn't want to bite the hand that was feeding me. I promised to end the poem with some hope; with some "bigger picture" thinking. Little did I know then that I would learn more in that 6-month stint of parking cars than I would in my entire college career. I am considering a new version of this poem--with an entirely different ending. A real ending; one with the stabbing and jabbing that we all know I can do. An ending like that song Denis Leary sings at the end of his "No Cure For Cancer" routine. Yes; I needed something to get me out of this crazy downer lag I'm in.
Part of tonight's (2-5-04) inspiration is that I finally watched "Bowling for Columbine". That's a good (and scary) movie. So enjoy "Old Learning" from 19 years ago. I enjoyed going through my milk crate; finding gems and stems from decades past. I'd like to think that there are a million other closeted milk crates out there, just as full of inspired golden talent like mine. But there's not. There's nothing in the world like my crate. The point is that when I need answers, when I'm having problems, or need help; when I need that extra "oomph", I don't call a specialist. There's nobody out there who can help me; thank you. I'm not a bubble test, okay? I don't care what you've seen that's similar to me, Dr. Dipshit; it wasn't me. When I need help, I dig on the inside. And if it gets really bad, then I go digging into my inspirational milk crate. It only takes me a couple of minutes in there to remember why none of this really matters. None of it. It's just a ride. It'll all be over soon. Shut up already. Thank you.
We're guessing at knowledge that others have shown
And skipping up trails previously known
The cast of our learning has already been gained
By choice, we'd learn something no one else has attained.
To gain the unknown is to learn the untaught
To tame exotic beasts that have yet to be caught
To bask in the glow of an isolated beach
Or another scene no one else has yet to reach.
Intimidation includes being trapped by our age
Late-teened details prevail in this stage
To tolerate reinstatements is not in the plan
Before we learn the unknown, have to learn what we can.
W. C. Davis
And look how the dates reflect; from 5-2 to 2-5; with a 19 year break. Let's see if we can tell how the Overnight Guy is a little more jaded now. Will he cover it up? Will he give us a mystical metaphor, or just bury his face in the truth? Oh crap. Don't you hate it when people talk about themselves in the 3rd person? This poem works as a continuation to "Old Learning". If it stands by itself then it will be called:
As college debts keep growing; the jobs keep leaving
And the owners of colleges keep deceiving
"You need an education." they say with a smile
"Because working in your field, now, can't be worthwhile."
This ironic myth is what keeps these schools going
Never mind they don't teach you anything worth knowing--
To keep you employed, out in this world that is real
They just keep you chasing their carrot; that's the deal.
W. C. Davis
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