There are thousands, if not millions, of things I have learned as a student at Waynesburg, all of which have helped to shape me into the person I have and am becoming today.
Academically, I have learned about acrylic painting and drawing; American, British and World literature; human biology and environmental biology; fiction, nonfiction and poetry; photography and design; psychology and sociology; and much more.
Spiritually, I have learned what it means to listen to the Word and reflect on God’s promises—to trust in Him and, through Him, make a difference.
Yet, through all of these things I have learned, there is always something a professor says that resonates beyond everyday learning. These special sayings make us think without asking any questions. Sometimes unaware, the professor continues on with the lecture as you sit in silence pondering that small, profound thought—that pertinent piece of wisdom.
I experienced this feeling a couple of weeks ago as I was sitting in my intermediate poetry class. We were discussing the power of language and art, and how difficult it is to stop thinking about reason and focus on the experience as it stands before you. A tree is a tree, a sparrow is a sparrow, and these things are better described as what they are. They do not need to be decorated with adjectives and metaphors to stand on their own.
It is easy to state what something is, but to describe it in its natural form as is with no formula or reasoning was something completely unnatural for me. In high school, I was taught there is one single interpretation to every piece of writing, but coming to college, I have come to realize this is not exactly true. A true poem, as well as any piece of creative writing, needs no interpretation or thought provoking message. There is no formula—it is what it is.
As I was trying to wrap my head around this new concept, I heard these words from my professor as she continued on.
“You can prepare yourself for math and science, but it doesn’t prepare you for being human.”
Then it hit me.
We can spend our time trying to create the best new thing known to man, but even that does not change what we are: human. Whether it is writing the next acclaimed novel or creating a cure for cancer, we are all the same. We all hurt, we all fail and we all have weaknesses, but that is the beautiful part of being human.
To some degree, we all paint our lives with certain characteristics, dreams, goals and titles to make us stand out, but in the end we all are human. Just as a tree is a tree and a sparrow is a sparrow. We do not always have to separate ourselves from the rest of world. Sometimes just being is enough to enjoy the true beauty of living.