Going off of what I said in “Still September?” is the above picture. See, on my campus there are alcoves, hidden sanctuaries dotted throughout the campus where individuals can sit, away from the human highways of the pavement and sidewalks. This picture was taken looking up from one such alcove, a stone bench not even 100 feet away from my building. The bench was in a cluster of trees, providing not only shade, but protection from the stress that occupied my psyche.
I looked up, and I was humbled. There is a pressure that comes with being a graduate student and being a teacher of having to perform in the classroom as proof of the importance of one’s existence. Looking up from my momentary sanctuary, it struck me that I was wasting my energy attempting to appeal to this need to perform. My existence is not a performance; it’s rooted in the primordial, grounded in a foundation that pre-exists the buildings I inhabit.
It’s vital to remember the individual, the existence that transcends the name on the roster, the student in the desk, and the teacher in the classroom.