28 February, 2002
A F T E R G L O
There's a sense in which we, as Davidson students, are machines. Our minds act on documents, theories, and data--we swallow them, and they come out different. Pure juxtaposition yields results.
I've found that after two years here, I'm often lost without that juxtaposition, that context. My brain is a fermentation of angles and approaches--empty rubrics (a system touted in other campus publications as "how to think")--and when called upon to generate my own content, I often come up blank and have to rely on others to remind me of what's in my own head. I start to tell people I'm at essence vacant. I'm only an intersection of others' material, an interface on which they play according to the numerous methods programmed into my brain.
And really, I'm a very opinionated person; it all just got submerged somewhere beneath those frameworks. We're such a gregarious population in college, always around ten or fifteen of our counterparts with little space for alone time. Even when we are finally alone, it becomes hard to get down to what we really think, either because it doesn't matter so much or we just don't feel capable of it without other people. I know I always run for the phone.
We're in a place where our definitions of ourselves are extremely socially determined, and when you combine that with a super-concentrated variety of concepts and data, you get, yes, a valuable education, but also perhaps a stifled mind.
--l a m a r