Had BN over for Career Exposure Day, and in the midst of extemporizing about the ins and outs of the educational publishing industry, I got myself all stirred up about my work again. (Or maybe it was the coffee wot did it.)
Maybe it’s the same phenomenon keenly observed by Diana Wynne Jones (forever grateful to AS for introducing her Charmed Life to me) in her fantastical take on academia (containing a rich lode of tips for freshers, actually), Year of the Griffin (also sequel to one of my favourite fantasy books ever, Dark Lord of Derkholm) — you can equip yourself all you want with all the practical aspects of a skill, the how-to’s, the mechanics, the one-two-threes, but what you end up with will never be more than the sum of its parts if it’s not infused with meaning, theory, truth. Choose to transcend and things will take on a certain … effulgence. Rose-tinted or otherwise.
So, my conclusion is that it’s all very well to react negatively to negative situations and, hey, negative reactions, and even craft a beautifully structured analysis of what’s wrong with whatever and ever, but it’s never going to move things on or improve matters or get anyone anywhere if there’s none of that vision thing going on. I’ve indulged in negativity, I think. I’ve had fun with it. I’ve sniped my way into delirium. But I want to never take delight in ridicule again. I want to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” — to perceive people clearly but not punish them for being weak and selfish. For being just like me.
[Addendum: I forgot to say just how DWJ conveyed her observation on theory vs practicum. Year of the Griffin is about a band of freshman magicians of varied backgrounds who have more talent and that vision thing than the stale university administration can admit. One of the freshers first scoffs at some mysterious tomes recommended by a person of wisdom and humour, preferring the solid skill-building in other tomes on the said person’s reading list. When the fresher runs out of tomes to devour, he resigns himself to the mysterious ones, and it consequently dawns on him that the seemingly aphoristic, somewhat esoteric words make perfect sense in light of what he now knows, in fact helping him shoot off in tangents of great promise and discover new and awe-full ways to practise his art.]