And here I am, nearing the end of what has become the greater part of my life and I do not think preparation is possible. For me, life in the classroom, not as a teacher, but student, is time that belongs to me, unshared except for the pleasure of discussion with other like-minded individuals willing to argue to the point of overkill, the literary moral dilemmas presented in Matthew Gregory Lewis’ The Monk, or the sexual temptation in Book III of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, a proclamation of failed or successful relational productions reflecting past and future centuries because sex and temptation, together or separate, co-exist in our ever-expanding universe of “I want.”
With that said, my goal here is not to expound on the combined terms sexual temptation, or the alternate prefix-conjunction-noun structure, but to say “I want” provokes definitions of desire that is waiting to be had. Desire in itself provokes and represents unlimited meanings. The desire of “I want” is self-servient, imposing a taxing weight that could extinguish all possibilities of accepting what is. But if we choose to accept what is we can only accomplish two things: 1/continue questioning; and 2/accept the totality of our experience without pursuit of tangibility outside what we know. Questioning allows us to ask and possibly learn something in return. Of course there are different types of questions and ways in which we pose those questions, but we do not always receive a response. For example, “How are you?” is a basic, economized question that may produce various responses from a silent shrug to a verbose interaction, or physical sadness. I would much rather ask, “Is there hidden meaning behind the death of the stag in Shakespeare’s As You Like It? and if yes, what do you think it is?” Questions develop inquiry and inquiry is curiosity waiting to be founded.
I prefer “I want” to what is. Is one question more personal than the other? Is “How are you?” intimate compared to my Shakespeare question? Maybe, maybe not. I guess that depends on how the stag is interpreted by the res-ponder. It is not that I do not want to ask “How are you?”; it is simply a preference and yes, a selfish one. If I return to my original thought of “I want” it is my preference to remain a student. I have the summer to complete my thesis, and I hope to apply to PhD programs in January. But what “I want” may not be what I get. But I cannot worry about that now. Instead, I have to focus on a better message. One of my professors recently said, upon my turning verklempt when I mentioned reaching the end of my program, you are always a student… and you are ready to be on the other side of the desk. I finally have found words to replace what has haunted me for a long time: your grades are not good enough for college; you are better off getting married and having kids. Here’s what “I want”: always ask questions, even the seemingly simple ones that do not always garner the reaction we want; always be a student and a teacher, and never imply or suggest that we are not good enough.