One of my friends has a PhD in Astronomy. She is a scientist, through and through, and that is why despite the recent dearth of research jobs, the fight to get funding, she has stayed with her chosen vocation. There is nothing she would rather do with her time than study and research the stars above us (from what I gather this includes black holes and the formation of stars).
That is her day job, and after hours? Well, she was and still is a bit of a goth and this is where we bonded the most (though I admit I am really eclectic ranging to bohemian, hipster, nerd to which we bond there as well). Generally, she likes to wear black, she has tattoos of her favorite constellations on her wrist, and yes, they are accurate (she took the star charts to the artist to make sure they were correct when he did the tattoos—she is hardcore about stars). Yet, she dresses in such a way that it isn’t necessarily obvious.
She is just that cool, much like this guy, a NASA flight engineer, who I am sure you remember from the Mars Rover Curiosity landing on the red planet Bobak Ferdowsi:
Yet, despite it all, while at a conference she was reminded just how in some ways we never left high school.
A professional in her field who was well-respected by many including herself, noted that it was a shame a certain doctorial student’s work on a particular subject was worthwhile but sadly overlooked. The topic that she was delving into was one of merit and one the community should look to study further in the direction she was going. It was a pity no one else saw this potential. Many of the people there agreed, it was a shame, it was a good topic…one person chimed in that yes, it was a shame but it probably didn’t help matters that she was a goth.
My friend was astonished, as was I, really? Do we really still judge one another so much on how we dress? Have we not come further than high school?
As we discussed this I reflected on an old idea of mine and settled that maybe Vonnegut was not only right…maybe to some degree all we are is imitating the microcosm of high school in the macrocosm of the world.
Think about it.
We still have the Drama Club, they are staging shows all over the place, Broadway, your local theatres, and hey sometimes they work with the AV/Club out in Hollywood. As you know the computer guys liked hanging out with the actors so they aren’t too far away and hey, some of them are even helping out with the videos…sweet!
Now do not get me started on Student Congress…you know where they are. And still to this day, they keep promising us a pizza party Friday, or a better location for Prom…yet, has yet to happen—oh my god, like ever! All that while the ROTC kids are sometimes getting into a bit of trouble with the other schools ROTC programs. STUCO should be handling it but they are too busy prepping ready for their leadership conference to deal and the student body president is feeling the heat of the election and lost a few, if not all of his friends who claim he is drunk with power.
The Mock Trial Team is working out there too…and FBLA and DECA are doing so well they expanded to all over campus, no more library only meetings for them. Oh no, and they get more field trips than the rest of us. And the Peer Counselors now get to give you a little more than just an ear to bend, maybe they have been hanging out
The musicians of the school have spread out too…they are in your parks, sometimes taking the stages…still getting the girls because they can play guitar and croon a good tune. The jocks are also doing as ever they have done—entertaining us, but it is getting harder for them to really test their mettle as they only face each other…oh wait, don’t worry the Olympics will be coming soon and then we can see how we measure against other schools.
You get the idea.
And where are we? The masses who were perhaps neither exactly members of this group or that group…
I would like to think we will carry on as we always have—sit back and smile at our classmates and their “drama” whatever that might be without getting caught up in it. Not care what they think and just be ourselves and be proud, have lunch under the tree while reading a book, go over to Home Ec and get some of the good food, maybe go off campus for coffee now and then, enjoy their shows in the meantime (I did like the Drama club shows and some of the bands), but always remember what we always knew even back then—some of it is still just their bullshit and not ours.
You know though, as I recall we all graduated…or at least most of us. Perhaps we should take on a new model, like college. Where you get to explore a variety of perspectives and meet some cool people who may or may not have a nose or tattoos…but you can get to know who they really are by you know, talking to them. Just a thought from a member of Zen Croquet.