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And besides, the wench is dead - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
And besides, the wench is dead
j4 has got me in a melancholic mood. I'd say nostalgic, but there are no rosy memories to look back on with fondness - no halcyon and carefree youth. Occasionally when I go to visit my mother, there will be a magazine awaiting me from my old school (I do not name it - names have power, and I wish it to have as little power over me as possible). I did not ask for these - they come regardless of my consent, which in itself seems like a metaphor of sorts - but sometimes I flip through these in a desultory manner, to find that the same world seems to be continuing along its preset course with little to deflect it. They're still telling the old lies.

Let me tell you about my school. It was nearly 500 years old, with some buildings predating the foundation of the school, and had only recently discovered the novel idea of co-education. I was the prodigy, the child who would not be challenged by a underfunded and uncaring state system, but whose promise warranted financial support that would otherwise not have been forthcoming. The school was, perhaps, a shadow of its former glory, no longer considered fashionable or particularly academic, although they certainly liked to give that impression. Those who were children of former pupils were designated by special marks in the school term books.

I haven't been back. I *can't* go back. Nothing that happened there seems to have any meaning to me any more. They actually did a pretty good job of bringing out my potential academically, but most of the lessons they taught outside of academia were wrong. Some of them I saw as lies at the time, only later to understand that those lies facilitate the lives of and may even be necessary for the people they were selling them to. (The parents. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking they were selling to children - the children got fed them because that's what the parents wanted to happen.) Other lies I wish were true. "Work hard, apply yourself, train your mind and you will do well." That lie I do mourn for.

I imagine them, my contemporaries, at their reunions, the ones I will never attend, congratulating each other on how conventionally they have all turned out, proof that the system works and all is well with the world. And I wonder how many others there are like myself, inhabiting the universe outside the scope of what we were taught to believe in, seeing glimpses of a world that to us is less real and more alien than the surface of the moon and wondering if they are having a better time of things than we are.

Me, I like where I am now. I knew by the time I left that I would never be able to buy into that system - The System - although these days I can pretend when I need to, and that, at least, is a useful skill I can thank my education for. As it stands, I may not be financially comfortable, but neither am I uncomfortable. I have many friends, and many enjoyable passtimes, and a loving and close family. Also, I live in a place I love more than any other on the planet. Anything else is a bonus. I also understand more than I would have done, and I hope that I am kinder for it than I would have been.
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From: ex_lark_asc Date: June 26th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do recognise that feeling of being unable to be nostalgic because none of the memories are good...
liriselei From: liriselei Date: June 27th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
the people we are, the people we were, the people we imagined we'd become - these three crowds shall never meet.
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