I am a building elf.
You know when you enter a conference room and there are bunches of chairs and tables arranged conveniently for your use? You know when you walk into a bathroom and (of course you wouldn’t notice this but) the paper towels are in rich supply? You know when you look on the ground and the only stains you see are faint pink or pale brown? Well, look no further for this source of sorcery, for I am a building elf.
The point of that random intro was that I got a job on my new campus, and I finally understand who keeps the world from crashing into chaos. –> People like me. <–
“New campus?” you ask. Well, my dear Reader, I am now a transfer student. Yes. Not only do I have elvish powers, but I am also that fruitcake you see walking around your elite, world-renowned campus with a local community college T-shirt on. I’ll be the one that won’t let go of the easy life. The beautiful grade curve. The magical hour-long bus rides to school. The 100% acceptance rate.
It’s not like I don’t want to be here. Actually, that’s a lie. Nothing so far has truly inspired me to want to be at this new fancy-pants university. I guess the future job resume might seem perkier, but that’s in so many years… I’m complaining, aren’t I?
The point is, every day is turning into a huge mind game for me. Constantly I have to convince myself to not run off screaming, or at least to just keep still and get over myself. Because truly, Reader, I act like I am just sooo entitled. I often catch myself thinking (in no uncertain terms), “The world revolves around me and get me a dang milkshake or something, you peasant!” So I often tell myself, “Hey, Maney. Chill out. Remember David Foster Wallace’s speech about true education. It’s about awareness…”
So here’s the quote of the day: (And, Reader? This is water.)
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day…
The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
“This is water.”
“This is water.”