“all these sleepless souls watching america roll by, the trees fall past like a chain of dominoes and these sun children gleam - lit in their glory, streaking lights as the road opens up to destinations more honest than your average saturday night”—
Unfortunately I was not able to complete the final assignment for this course. By ‘unable to’ I mean that after the fury of this semester and the hellish suffering that has been finals week, the thought of writing this paper to cap it all off led me to ponder the best suicidal method upon waking up this morning. (In the end I decided that suicide was for the weak, so I handed my roommate a knife and asked her to stab me. Obviously, she didn’t do it, so I can only conclude that society has successfully stamped out her natural inclinations to aggression.)
Anyway, to prove that I have in fact learned something in this course, I’d like to tell you how much your discussions and analysis of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality interested me. In my notes from class on our first day of discussing his writing, I have written, “life is an entirely arbitrary assignment of meaning and so if we gain meaning from something to make our existence worthwhile or fulfilling, then it will be bearable. But if we do not find this meaning it will be pointless and we’ll want to kill ourselves”. I don’t mean to insinuate that I find your class pointless and thus am not writing the final paper. Instead I mean to say that I don’t find it productive to spend time doing things that make me unhappy. Nor, I have gathered, do any of the authors that we have read and studied this semester. In the arbitrary assignment that is life, I have chosen to endow meaning to being a good person, gaining knowledge that I can use productively throughout my life, loving and being loved, and having great life experiences. Unfortunately, I feel that because I have given meaning to these things, I am unable to give meaning to all of the things that society at large has deemed to be so important, or following the life plan that so many of my peers seem to have in mind (i.e., getting good grades that allow you to get a great job so that you can live in a great house with a great family and retire to a great last thirty years of your life before you die). Marx believes that we should be able to do what we want, and that that is what will make us the happiest as humans. So, I’m doing what I want.
If you have read to this point in my note, you probably are thinking ‘if she wasn’t going to write the paper then why the hell did she write me this note?’. Well, I’ve written this note because I think you are one of the greatest teachers I’ve had in my life, and despite the fact that I feel no shame in turning in a smartass letter in lieu of a paper that would actually demonstrate how much I have learned about all that we’ve studied this semester, I didn’t want to leave you with nothing. I’ve really enjoyed this course, and despite the fact that you probably think that I’m a terrible student and maybe wonder why I even bothered to take this class, I’ve learned a lot, including new ways of thinking about the ways that we live in society. So thanks for all of the knowledge, wit, and sarcasm you’ve imparted.
Accepting of but still not eagerly anticipating my failing grade in this class,
“the glittering worlds lay there like a promise - the world was not the universe… he could not believe that to a watcher there this world could shine with such brilliance: it would roll heavily in space under its fog like a burning and abandoned ship.”—graham greene, the power and the glory
“I wish I wrote the way I thought
With maddening hunger
I’d write to the point of suffocation
I’d write myself into nervous breakdowns
Manuscripts spiralling out like tentacles into abysmal nothing
And I’d write about you
a lot more
than I should”—Benedict Smith / “I Wish I Wrote The Way I Thought” (via babyheroin)