"Kids retain 5 percent of what they hear and 10 percent of what they read but 80 percent of what they do and 90 percent of what they teach." (Robert Ballard)
Except for Teachers College Professors Louis Forsdale, Robert McClintock and Maxine Greene, and Yale Professor John Wild and Asst. Professor Robert Cook, my education, both in the classroom and outside it, especially anent the latter, by my biological progenitors (aka: my childrearing by my "parents"), has been almost unrelieved siege warfare for now 70 years except when I was beneath their notice: them against me. My parents tried to make me be normal. In perp(sic) school, of course I did not know about guerilla warfare, nor about the Holocaust, nor about most everything else. So many lost years. But I, perhaps due to misfortunate (misfortunate for them) generic endowment, effectively adopted the stance of colonized people vis-à-vis their colonial oppressors: survival by any means necessary.
I was apparently a highly intelligent child, in a social world where, unlike I later was to find in IBM Reaserch, not evrybody's every child was at least National Merit Semi-finalists. My "I.Q." was a state secret, like the fact that my body was capable of orgasms, but then I was ignoranced about almost everything. Somehow, and this is really "off the wall", apparently one fine day in the perp school, one of the teaches was doing a roll call of students with his eyes-only faculty book of secrets open and he was so stupid that one of the students was reading the secrets over his shoulder and that little tattle-tale seems to have said that my number was 158 and my fellow student who was destined to go to MIT's number was 145. Did the teach's number have 3 digits? I have no idea.
I.Q. or not, I was apparently a very intelligent child, especially in comparison to everybody else in my social surround. But I had lots of low-grade psychological problems, i.e., problems which I had enough intelligence to fake things so the adolts would not be enticed to hurt me about them more than they were already hurting me just for what they saw. First problem: I was and remain to this day a v-e-r-y s-l-o-w r-e-a-d-e-r, maybe 25th percentile down with the dummies? But not just in that benighted day carcel for pubescent male virgins except for don-t-ask-don't-tell-sex-for-jocks, also at Yale, a lot of courses were PhD level, i.e.: they had reading lists which were Piled Higher and Deeper. Oh dear, what could I do to save myself from the ominously unspecified fate which my parents had threatened me with the one time I came home with a "C" on my report card?
I resorted to guerilla warfare. I avoided every class with a long reading list. In perp school, that meant taking Spanish instead of French, and taking American History for jocks instead of "Advanced Placement" American History, like all the other kids who aspired to be better than average. I had no sense of shame. I did not care about American history and the AP History teacher smelled to me like bad news: an old retired military man who seemed to resemble some combination of an unanswered telephone and a cinderblockhead. An irony is that in the 1990's I actually made a significant discovery about real American History (Click here, but that would not have counted toward getting a good grade in Mr. Clark's AP Amhist class. He had no interest in history but only in jerking school kids around. He was Hardprig Middleton's powsy-wowsy and I am not sure whether either or both of them had incipient dementia. I resent these people and their fellow travelers more each day of the part of my life they did not take away from me I have left.
And so it went, all the way thru Yale. Why did I major in philosophy there? Well, I liked to , but that was not all that highly relevant to anything in my educational regimen, i.e.: in my life. The reading lists in philosophy courses are shorter than in any other academic subject, aren't they?
What does speed reading have to do with erudition, discrimination [the esthetic, not the racist kind] or connoisseurship of anything? Nothing. What does deep reflection on a small numbers of words have to do with such things? Heraclitus's and Sun Tzu's writings are both short. Charles paid-on-the-installment-plan Dickens had chronic logorrhea (give that man a semiotic and also an anal enema!). What first rank philosopher or military general studies Charlie D? What first rank philosopher or military general studies Heraclitus or Sun Tzu? Corporate CEO's do not reward their employees based on how long winded they can make memos they send up their command chain, do they? Why were teaches obsessed with curriculum
Now to reveal something I have never dared before to reveal, but by now the statute of limitations has presumably expired. I never did anything that could in any was have caused my Yale transcript to be altered from 100% what the faculty and administration did and either did I bribe anybody. But it says something like "Intensive major" which does not mean much, and I did not put it there. But I never did an intensive major. I was surviving by avoiding anything I felt might hurt me, i.e., give me a bad grade. They put it there. I was not going to corect their mistake. And when shortly after graduating from Yale, one of my potential murderers at my Military Conscription humiliation examination seemed to say something like that they thought I had a doctorate (which, of course I did not), I certainly was not going to correct their mistake, either. I did not lie; I did not bribe anybody. But I was not going to give the enemy information they had no reason to know. It was me against them, and I fell through every crack in the pavement I could find. Me against them. Maybe me and Donald Trump do have something in common: neither of us will pass up a free lunch, which, in my case was always peanuts but in his could be multi-million dollar loans from Deutsche Bank -- If you are dumb enough to offer it, I'll take it, because if I play fair you will crush me.
So my first problem was that I could read only very slowly. Next and even bigger came debilitating OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) fears due to something not my fault but my parents had reduced me fear of everything. There was a very bad mole (nevus) on my chest which, by the time a doctor in the Yale Student Health Service had got it hacked out before it would have killed me, left me with metastatic fear of getting melanoma which often distracted my attention from everything for minutes if not hours. Professor John Wild had told me that if I got my PhD I would be a: "free man" (in 1968, that was true). I remained a [wage-]slave all my life. How could i have hacked a doctoral program in philosophy with my right arm tied behind my back trying to play Wimbledon, to adduce a meatphor? Anybody who calls me a coward and a fool has not imaginatively walked, now more like: limped, in my shoes.
For the sake of argument, let me bracket, i.e., hold out of action, the two preceding issues: (1) reads slow, and (2) chronically OCD distracted. Next comes an issue which I think should apply to everybody with a mind and not just a faculty for obeying orders:
"No wind blows in favor of that ship which has no port of destination." (IBM motivational slogan)
I could not figure out how to cope with things that meant nothing to me. I could not figure out how to make something out of nothing. I needed a goal to motivate me to do anything, anddid not work: Threats just made me try to look around for ways to circumvent the predations of an enemy that was far stronger but apparently not always smarter than me. (Isn't it sad for a very gifted child -- for any human being or animal -- to go through life always just trying to figure out ways to avoid being hurt even worse than he always already felt he was being hurt?)
School assignments generally meant nothing to me and I suspect they did not have any other meaning for that the teach who put them in the curriculum then to collect his biweekly paycheck, or, back in the 1950's, it may still have been a pay envelope (which I recivedon my first job in 1968). Today, I do not have a clue how i got through school, but teachers keep putting "A" on my assignment papers, so I "didn't look a gift horse in the mouth". How could I write anything about anything when I had nothing to say about anything? Apparently I did. Fortunately (to evoid embarrassing myself) or unfortunately (as for history) I do not have any =thing I wrote from before Teachers College and Maxine Greens "A+" about which more below.
All my life i have had two overriding objectives in life, in rank order:
- Avoid getting hurt more than I was already being hurt.
- Stop coutinuing to get hurt by what was already hurting me.
When by ways I do not recall, sometime in perp school Idiscovered there could be experiences in life that would be desirable (well, that word has more than one meaning, of course), then I wanted some. Let me make sure I have been clear: My childrearing and school did not give me any reason to live or even the idea that there could be a reason to live. Is that undertood, because if you do not understand that you cannot have a clue about my life?
And what was one of the very first things I dscovered could give me pleasure not either pain or at best boredom? Books. I rarely go anywhere without a book in my right hand. Diogenes of Sinope searched through the city where he lived with a lit lantern in his hand in the midday sunlight, searching for an honest man, but that's a different story. I read serious books while I defecate on the toilet, don't you? Where is one of the safest places for me in my daily life? Public toilets. Why? Because people are less likely to poke at me when I'm on the toilet behind a closed toilet stall door, for reasons I do not fully understand but it may be partly because they ashamed of the fact that they shit (which is what, maetaphorically, of course, a lot of them are, so they may not want to look in the mirror before they press the flush button -- that's how much love and respect my parents and school teaches earned from me, but, of course they should not have had to do anything to earn my love or respect because they were older than me, i.e., they had defecated more times than me. Could I have majored in [e]scatology?
So I started reading books. Not anything in course curricula, except for Sophocles Oedipus Cycle plays. Even here it's time for me to come out of the closet of shams they built around me to keep me from become aware that I could try to get justice out of them. The title of one of Alice Miller's books is: "Thou shalt not be aware", and another: "For your own good".
I no longer remember exactly what happened. Let me try to hypothestically reconstruct the context the best I can: In 11th or 12th grade Endlish clas the teach was talking about words and he said something about some word. This was probaly not it, but it will serve: Let us say he was talking about the names of automobile brands and he said "Volvo' For some reason I can no longer recall and due to circumstances which seem impossible considering how ignoranced I was about dirty things -- no, not my teachres, but: "SEX", somehow I -- who was always running my mouth off in class to try to get as much of my teacher's attention time as I could -- I said the word "Vulva" (I think that is the word). At this point my memory goes blank because the reception of my, why not a bad pun: ejaculation in the archaic sense of that word was not elcoming. Would that Diogenes would at that point have appeared in that claaaroom, stared directly in the teach's face and masturbated at it to show his opinion of the social customs of his fellow citizens. No such luck.
But I had a crippling disability in reading beyond anyting I could have caused. I had no idea that particulars have contexts and that things have nuances and are not just binary: (A) approved by the persons with power to hurt me or (B) not. What happened when I tried to read a philosophical book starting from that highly advantgeous beginning? I tried for weeks to reduce Albert Camus' "The myth of Sisyphus to a one page deductive argument proving why a person should not commit suicide. But maybe this was like many philosophers through the ages tried to prove the existence of something they could not prove anyting about if they did succeed in proving it existed: The God of the philosophers? I keep digressing.
What should I have done instead which it was not possible for me to do thanks to my having been ignoranced not educated? I should ha studied the nuances of human being: being mortal, suffering, aging, dying and having died, i.e., finally becoming dead. And I should have reflected on all these things which are not binary: approved by the people who could hurt me or not, or even: socially acceptable to think and speak of not. As one of my IBM managers pontificated at me: "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride."
But when I found Kafka, no problema! Even I, in my massive ignorance about almost everyting, could appreciate K's plight. Except for Gregor Samsa's bad case of scleroderma / Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), Franz Kafka was writing about me: me, me, me. And then there was another book I understaood little of except the ending: Italo Svevo's "Confessions of Zeno, where a man burrows to the center of the earth with a very poweful bomb, sets it off and the universe is cleansed of all the disease on the earth's surface. Yes, I might well have done that if given a chance; that's how happy I was with my social surround. As they told me: "Better dead than red."
I started learning things, no thanks whatever to my parents whoc were ignorant people just pursuing the American dream, and my perp school teaches who were more highly schooled prigs. And, in a sort of miasma at Yale. Probably any other college other than a Party Boy U. or maybe any other time at Yale, I might have flunked out or at best have been a piece of excrement among all the other pieces of excrement who were having more fun in their lives, i.e., the other students. But, no, there were just enough cracks for me to fall though. During those 4 years I learned about Marcel Duchamp and Wassily Kandinsky's art. I had a coupldle courses from Professor John Wild, who had introduced existential phenomenology to American academia and who liked me because my interest in philosophy was in living not not "neoscholastic jargon" like some of his graduate students. But I was too ignoranced to appreciate him enough. I should have become a nuisance to him, seeking ever more help in thinking, but I always felt there was no point in trying anything because I always lost. I should hav egot up my gumption and asked: "Professor Wild, I am lost. can you help me?" And that's the root cause why I never got anywhere in life: I had no hope. Because I was very scared that if I took a risk of doing something other than I was already stuck with, I would fail and then my life would be even worse than putting up with what I was already stuck with. And I alwsys had trouble taking care of satisfying my basic needs in life. Even apart from living in a world without women, or at least any appealing ones, the only way I could have survived maybe taking a job in the State Department (which I never even tried for) would have been if they had a dorm, or if I had enough capitalization to deal with all the "pragmatic agenda" of daily life by throwing money at it. Find a place to live? And I would have been so lonely that it would not have worked if I did find one. I had been so badly emotionally cripped by the people in my social surround that I could be a happy hermit, so I had to put up with them because I was too emotionally weak to be mke it as a radical solipsist. Leaving out some untoward details, it should be obvious that person who puts up with people he feels do nothing other than disappointing him is potential trouble all around.
Back to education per se. Besides art I only very poorly understood but which I did like and the philosophy of meaningless -- But let me stop here. I read 'Waiting for Godot"> I didn't think it was bbad, but I did not appreciate it enough. Just imagine how much better my life would have been if I could have waited until I died at a bus stop where all my tor-mentors would have got tired of waiting for a man who would never arrive and so have left. They wanted life to be meaningful because otherwise it would be meaningless for them. I was on my way to developing a philosophy that life should be meaningless. And Godot was a good as anybody. So now I like waiting for Godot: Click here to go there.
I have written else where here that I had no sense of self-worth. I got some soon after college when I had a job running the gift shop in The Baltimore Museum of Art (a quite ontroversial job, because the museum's chief fashionista, aka: Curator of Painting and Sculpture, wanted to reduce it to a postcard kiosk whereas the old time museum shop part time old lady employees and volunteers wanted it to sell fine handcrafted jewelry. I started the job with the assignment to destroy the shop, and ended upb eing the old biddies' champion: They didn't have to make much effort for me to lust after objects of quality I could sell, when there were no human beings of quality in my life. A single wood-fired pottery bowl by Malcolm Wright is worth more than almost all the people I ever encountered in my whole life, but that is not correct: how can one compare even a single credit entry to a whole slew of debit entries on the ledger of one's life? So where did the beginning of me having a sense of self-worth come from" Having a book of blank purchase order forms in my briefcase with authority to buy anything in the whole world Ii wanted for resale. Signing my name on the bottom line of a purchase order made me feel like I had some value. Isn't that what "the invisible hand" of the free market is all about? Of course not, but was true in this case.
I read voraciously, and I was able to do it because my job did not yet suck my life out of me: The job was sufficiently undemanding that I had energy left to read books, watch foreign films, and have at least a little bit of a life. B[u]y the 2nd decade of the 21st century, this would no longer be the case. I lost most of my mind trying to make unintuitive computer apps do undocumented things I did not fully understand in the first place. Now, how did I select books to read? One book led to another. I have no idea how I got to such books as Elsa Morante's "History: A novel".
Hermann Broch was a different story. In my last year at Yale when I was coming close to a mental breakdown and could hardly read anything, I had signed up for German literature in translation. How foolish could I have been? Well, I bought the books on the reading list and I got the message: I dropped the course and returned the books-- except for one that had an interesting cover. Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, or maybe almost always if you know how to read between the lines. For some reason I do not understand, I kept Hermann Broch's "The sleepwalkers" It would be a over a decade before I tried to read it because my ability read anything more difficult than TIME magazine was shot. But one fine day soon after I started working for IBM, I deceided to try to start reading that book. It was like trying to walk through a swimming pool full of molasses. I would get through one or two pages per day, with much effort. Then Iread a sentence which changed my life. Quoting from imperfect memory, per Sancho Panza's observation that tthere is no memory which time does not erase and no pain to which death does not bring surcease:
[These are the concluding words of Broch's story:] "With the material for character construction with which the reader has been provided, the reader an figure out the rest for himself."
Can you, my reader, figure out how that sentence could have radically changed my whole life for the better? It is very simple: For me it said that not everything was the depressing, oppressing stuff that all my life i had been stuck with: Happpy endings when my life was not at all happy. Happy little bluebirds flying over the reainbow under which I had to passum sub iugum each two weeks to help keep American beautiful by getting haircutted (not only was I traumatized by the physical act of what the barber did, but I found the "men" in a barbarian shop phyicallly repulsive. "Blessed events" instead of orgasms.... And the signature thing of this whole bad story: [[Template:BRMWageSlavery|The surprise ending]]. I was not interested in such books in the first place but no surprise ending is a surprise because the author and the publisher, and in school: the teach who will grade me on trying to discover it instead of him just vomiting out of his mouth, they all already know it and after the first time the well socially conditioned reader gets titillated to discover what he has hidden from himself (read the last chapter first, idiot), it's not even any longer a surprise for him or her, or, in 2022, other, yawn.
Tthat sentence told me that, to borrow from the very sick Peggy Lee song Maureen Dowd said is one of Donald Trump's favorites: that is not all there is. Just imagine if I could have answered the English teach's intrusive question on a test about what was the ending of some book tha meant nothing to me, I hadn't really read and couldn't understand anyway (too much action, too many charaacters -- I never read The Iliad but loved The Odyssey) -- if I could have written to that self-important prig: The story ends with the reader being asked to figure out the ending for himself because the author has provided the reader with enough ingofmation to figure out how the story ends for himself, you disrespectful teach!. Note that the dolt teach always asked how the story ended, not any meta question. I would have answered the quesion as asked to teach that offensive person what he didn't know he meant. And, in Broch's case it would not have been all that difficult to actually construct the story's unstated end because the protagonist was a male prig who managed like most male prigs,to father a child -- do they keep repeating Dulce et decorum est pro partia mori when copuating to distract themseles from what they don't want to think about?, just like all the adolts around me, just at a higher SES then them.
Also, this was the same time as the high point of my computer programming career (and careening), when I even had ((BRM_IBM}} a bit over a barrel: I was unmanageable, and they knew it. But they had a very serious problem: They could not sell their newest flagship computer because the hardware was too powerful for the software to keep it busy so the obvious thing was for the customer to buy a less expensive model. There was a kludge to not fix the problem, but kick the can down the road. There was a very small software patch needed. Probably any stupid programmer could have done it but it had to be right and stupid programmers are precisely what they are, and IBM knew that, too. I had had a big fight in the group responsible for making the fix. Management asked me if I would go back and do it. Of course I would, on one condition: that the people there had no say over what I did and after it was over I could go anywhere in the company that would take me I (I got this offer for my technical supervisor at the time, too). It was a deal and both sides lives up to it. From there my programming career started going downhill at first slowly but by 2010'ish, like one of the balls Galileo putatively dropped of the leaning tower of Pizza Pies.
What did this mean to me? It meant that the whole social less-than-world-but-I-ws-stuck-in-it of my social surround from birth had so iittle informational value that it could be left a a simple exercise to the reader to figure it all out. Now shut the book on it all. But I was not so lucky.
Template:BMBign to Teachers College, where I had three helpful teachers not just more tor-mentors (except for John wild, Whom I did not appreciate enough, etc.). First Professor Forsdale, whom I probably learned more from after I graduated and he had retired. But he said one thing which showed how much "bigger" he was than all the teaches I had been stuck with: He told me that at first he had taken my abrasive attitude as something personal against him but then he figured out that it was just how I was, and then the punch line: He said he had reached the point in his teaching career where he could handle being used as an intellectual punching bag by students.
The two more important teachers were Maxine Greene and Robbie. I may have once again missed an opportuniy with Professor Greene: she liked an essay I wrote so much that she wrote she would help me further. But I still had too little self-esteem to take her up on it. It doesn't take much to discourage me and most new days being more discouraging things. What was good is that before the start of her class I sked her if I could write paper on a topic tangentially related to the course instead of doing the course assignments. Instead, not in addition to or some other grovelling thing students do. And she told me to go do it. It worked out well, but the point had already been made: Maybe I could be an active agent in my living, not just a consumer of consumer products and a doer of ass-ignments."Taking initiative" in doing ass-ignments is not initiative; it's bending over and begging for more.
The other biggie was my dissertation. I have always been jealous of a different of Professor McClintock's students who got Friday nite one-on-one tutorials with him, probably with good cognac, in his magnificent faculty apartment living room, overlooking Harlem. But we eventually agreed that I got the better deal. Once I gave him a dissertation proposal in which he said he "thought there might be a dissertation in it", the next thing he saw of me or that I even stepped foot in the school building except to pay tuition money (the latter, I still appreciate, courtesy of IBM). → the next thing he saw of me was I handed him some 250 pages constituting the completed document including the page margins to spec and he must have rifled through that pile of unbound paper for maybe two minutes at most and then said to me: "Make copies an we go to the orals". Since nobody was going to be my Arstotle to Alexander the Great, he did second best and it was good enough: he gave me an opportunity to put up or shut up, to sink or to swim. I thrived on it -- to the point that I did consult some people who knew more than me. But they had nothing to do with Teachers College and he would not even have heard their names and they were not teachers: they were master practitioners of their discipline (psychoanalysis), and I paid them by the hour for as long as we mutually agreed it was worth the money. No threat to me of being graded; these people had zero power over me.
That is my education story. I needed to not be a student, to not have ass-ignments, to not be graded, to be respected as a peer by the adults except insofar as they were adolts and then they should have got out of my way and asked me what they could do for me (I think I would have done well to oversee, like the maverick psychoanalyst Masud Khan, 25,000 peasants). And, who knows, had I been taken at birth from my sperm and egg donors and given to a suitable highly educated childless couple who would have recognized me as gifted, and who undertsood that gifted did not just mean having a higher engine torque output (i.e., being able to correctly answer more standardized multiple choice test questions in a given time period). Had I had such parents and really been lucky in life, either I would have had a PhD dissertation topic in my 20s about which I was a passionate like the EdD communications dissertation topic I have in my 40s, and have become, as John Wild had hoped: "A free man", or I would have had some other constructive trajectory in living and the day might have come when, needing a PhD, I would have received the treatment Ludwig Wittgenstein got at Oxford (Cambridge?): The faculty convened a meeting where he talked at them for a few hours and in exchange they awarded him the degree. I actually know a person who had almost a small time experience like that: He was a master wood sculptor, or craftsman, who was a pioneer in his craft, who wanted a masters degree. He did enroll in a program and I presume he did the work, but the faculty were learning from him not just him from them. None of them had works in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I ever heard, and they understood this.
So where does all this lead?
My life, or as I genrally all it: less-than -life, I think most people, those who respect me aswell as those who detest me (the feeling is mutual although the reasons are antipodal), would agree that it has been, whatever their moral evalluation of it, several standard deviations from normal. How many kids would say they had only two good experiences in their childhood and that one of them was in the 3rd grade school librarian showing us children how to "break in" a new book without breaking its spine? How many people think for decades about a single piece of pottery and the thing they like most about it is how the foot is finished (and even the potter who made it did not recognize this?), to look to them like an idealization of female eternal genitalia? How many 7th grade kids simply stopped writing as they were taught and cooked up a whole different writing style unlike anybody else (but everybody could still read it), so I was not just writing stuff but also proactiely engaging with the characters set? How many people think of Partiarch Abraham in the Bible as a smell time Adolf Eichmann for just following orders to murder his son? In Wilfred Bion's "A memoir of the future" I have finally found a psychoanalyst who says that the problem is not females having penis envy but males having repressed clitoris envy? And on and on it goes....
A question: If I had had a childrearing suitable to myself, maybe being George Steiner's or Hermann Broch's child, would I have matured into something like William F. Buckley Jr (who also went to Yale)? Would I have done something of world-historical importance, like maybe getting a PhD in the Philosophy of architecture and intellectually demolishing that disgusting little man Robert Venturi instead of his having got away with being a matinee idol for toadie architects fo the past half-century? Or maybe I would have done honorable and socially valuable work (unlike much of the computer programming stuff I did) that also had contributed to my continuing educational self-formation. Who knows?
Adverting to the epigraph at the top of the page, what would have happened in a different world where I could have become not a graduate student, but an apprentice to John Wild? I can run my mouth off and say I was deprived this opportunity and that one etcetera and so forth. But the fact remains that the two times in my adult life, after I had begun to have some sense of being more than a goose for my parents and school teach's foie gras, which is not a good maetaphor since they didn't even eat the goose or the foie gras, all they knew how to do was to keep stuffing it, like in the poem by George Delury:
"Hammurabi's children made their house of slavery's bricks imprimatured by some mad priest's imagined good. the god is gone, the priest stamps on...."
The two times I got an chance to put up or shut up, with my dissertatiton for Robbie, and that essay for Maxine Greene, I did not fail. So, just maybe, under more auspicious conditions in which I would have more opportunities to succeed....
Today I could not tolerate being abused: being a "student", a non-ocular "pupil", sitting on a hard wood chair in a room full of other smilarly abused but differently metabolizing: docile, biota: "fellow" students. I could sit on a wood chair in such a room studying them and their teacher, like worms in soil, like I audited Professor Vincent Scully's egotistical Art History 10 lecture performances as a Yale freshman. Even as a teenager I could not tolerate being abused: being a student, a non-ocular "pupil", sitting on a hard wood chair in a room full of other similarly abused but differently metabolizing: docile, biota: "fellow" students. But I had put up with it: I had to "eat it". Passum sub iugum. I was not one of them and did not want to be like them or anywhere near them, but I had to "eat it". This should not have been done to me! I would have liked to enjoy being alive not passively suffer being ground under the jackboot of an invisible pedagogical hand, but as my IBM manager Jay Unger told me:
"If wishes were horses then beggars would ride."
The medium is the message. Except under exigent conditions, I would be very frustrated doing course ass-ignments. I would instead want to turn the course into a meta-course about itself (recursively!) studying and reflecting on the situation of being in the classroom and all its collateral damage, such as the course ass-ignments and what [if anything] was going on in the teacher's head during the class time, maybe sexual fantasies or worrying about his stock portfolio or whatever else. Example of an exigent condition: Studying how a very small television actor comedian was causing a lot of trouble in the world by playing the real life role of hyper-patriotic head of state of a second-world country: Zelenzky. But I want to see him dead yesterday, or rather having been a stillbirth, and there is nothing I can do about him. If the classroom contained people who Drank his or any other Kool-Ade, such as: liberals whining over human rights when they were in fact being sheep-like students with no rights, and how Ukrainians were being heroes (they are dupes or carpetbaggers) in Zelensky's selfish war and therefore having no rights except last rites,...Political correctnessers or wokies or "Activists".... I would try to take aim on them and with a few choice words put them in their place and motivate them to stop emitting threatening noises from their oral orifices. I cannot make this paragraph eloquently flow as I would like and am getting enraged trying to characterize all this disgusting stuff that should never have existed in the first place. Because if it had never existed I would not have reason to spend any time and energy on it, like I have never spent time reading Dickens novels.