Monday, January 11, 2010

Ma'a Salama, United States - It Has Been a Pleasure (Part I)

My participation in the Great American Experiment began on November 15, 1972. I do not recall the events of the day, but it was a Wednesday.

Years passed without my truly grasping what I was a part of and the importance of my role, essentially ignoring it. Later, I understood the great personal costs of my ignorance and began to remedy the situation. I needed to do my part and I needed to do it well, so I must learn. My public school education had been a great disservice to me in the development of my ability to contribute, and I set my insatiable thirst for knowledge upon studying not just the WHAT but the WHY and the HOW of all manner of subjects, those that interested me and those that did not, if I found them to be of importance in filling in those dark, gaping holes staring back at me.

The education provided in a State-sanctioned, -funded, and -managed institution (i.e., public school) is a world apart from that which one may pursue on one's own, without revisionist spin and ideological bias. It is truly a transformational experience, learning with open eyes and without blinders, not being led about like a bull with a ring through his nose.

One suffers some degree of cognitive dissonance, the prior tenets instilled by the State's indoctrination facility colliding with occasional glimpses of fact, until reality begins cascading in and those false beliefs can no longer be rationalized away. Eventually, one realizes resolution, embracing the truth and running free.
I already had a love of business law, economics, and political science courtesy of my college years but had never acquired a taste for "regular" history (think history class in high school... blech). I loathe mathematics and perpetually struggle with it, persisting for any number of reasons, some of which actually make sense upon occasion. Over time, though, I developed a passion for history that has eclipsed all else. I think that happened once I started actually seeing the WHY and the HOW instead of just the WHAT. At the very least, it has splashed some color onto a canvas that had otherwise been little more than a black-and-white pencil sketch upon high school graduation.

Then came Tuesday, January 20, 2009. This day marked my coming to the gruesome realization that this remarkable experiment I was so desperately trying to help succeed just might be coming to an end. With a whimper, no less.

I was born on a Wednesday. I have heard tell that Wednesday's child is full of woe. One interpretation of that could be that I am destined to an existence rife with grief, misery, and wretchedness. Looking back at some of the events of my life and ahead to those I am sure to endure, I just might be inclined to buy that. On the other hand, I prefer another, attributing me with "an expression of deep concern, and heavy responsibilities."

I would accept that challenge.

So began my awakening, thus begins my reawakening.

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