The acquisition of knowledge is not progression from point A to point B. There in fact, is no point B. The Colossus crawls ever westward, overlapping its own footprints, making new impressions in the Earth.
We as English majors are a species which seems to be categorized by our strange habits (reading for fun and profit, throwing books then apologizing to them), our peculiar eating habits (coffee, beer, entire bags of baby carrots, Diana brought a hot dog once, just like a whole hot dog. Boom. right in class. From home.), and our behavioral tendencies, which of course include our curiosity, our talent for analyzation, and our susceptibility to intense bouts of catastrophically crushing self-doubt. One of the main themes I’ve noticed when looking through the blog posts concerning resumés and CVs, is that even those students with an impressive amount of experience and skill seem at least slightly nervous about their futures. We’ve been sauntering along, riding high, standing on the shoulders of giants. But at night we toss and turn because as we near the end of our undergraduate careers we realize this trail leads us over a precipice, and as we rest in our beds, we fall helplessly and unimpeded to the ground. The Colossus we’ve been riding towers over us, but it hasn’t stopped moving. We must either prove that we’re worthy to climb back to the top and continue to ride the Giant across new and unexplored terrains (moving on to graduate school), or that we have the courage and skill to escape the shadow of its massive foot (moving out of academia and into the professional world), which moves to crush us. We ready our resumés and our CVs and our application materials like grappling hooks loaded into a gas-powered gun, and we attempt to latch back on, our epic struggle going mainly unnoticed by anyone but ourselves. To those who fall hard to the Earth it may seem like others are either still riding effortlessly, having coffee at the indie joint on the creature’s head, or are floating effortlessly to the bottom on clouds of money and self-assurance. The truth, however, is that nearly all of us experience the dread of the fall. We fear that we aren’t good enough, or that we are and that nobody will ever know. We fear that we don’t have enough experience, or that perhaps we have too much for anyone to sift through, and we can’t differentiate between what is relevant and what is not. We fear that we don’t know the right people, or that we know them all too well, and that our distaste is mutual. Even when we wake up, completely safe from malevolent, ancient beasts, and load our notebooks and laptops into our cars and drive safely to class, we still feel that cold ubiquitous shadow; the colossus does not need to be corporeal to be real.
It might be better to try and look at ourselves from a different perspective. For instance, while looking through all of my classmate’s blogs in an attempt to catch up on a semester’s worth of commenting I’d neglected, I saw a lot of worry, but no reason for it. I saw insightful posts filled with well thought out arguments assembled by highly educated scholars. I don’t worry about anyone’s future because I’ve seen what all of you can do. I’ve taken classes with you before, and you’ve only gotten more impressive. You can try to escape or kill the Colossus, but it is immortal. Instead it is important to understand that the beast is not bloodthirsty or malicious, it simply moves forward forever, and it never looks back long enough to fear what is behind it; neither then, should you.
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