What a ride.
I’m putting Spring 2016 semester in the rear view mirror (3.20 GPA!) and pulling out maps for a trip down Summer 2016 Semester lane with Fall 2016 right after. I’ve been reflecting on the last two years and change. It’s been a interesting time marinating on the events that instigated this great adventure and the ensuing adventures I’ve had in my journey to the goal of graduation. Back when The Vlogbrothers kicked off “Brotherhood 2.0”, I watched John and Hank Green organically create a community of nerds, geeks and more. I began to read John’s books and it’s in Looking for Alaska that I found the headline for this post – and a statement to reflect upon in a deeper sense.
They are allegedly the last words of Francois Rabelais, a writer and scholar of The Renaissance. John Green takes that idea and expands it, details it and interrogates it within a Young Adult Literature (YAL) novel in a brilliant and heartbreaking manner. It leaves the reader with an overwhelming amount of questions for themselves, the book’s characters and plot. But this is good, especially in a YAL novel. It’s designed to challenge us, push us, force us to question and think beyond just the words on the page.
We read it this semester in our Young Adult Fiction class (ENG 3470) at Metropolitan State University of Denver and it was a healthy revisiting of the story for me. I was older, a bit wiser and now armed with literary techniques from various literature and methods classes I had taken in the intervening years. The quote jumped out at me once more, but this time for different reasons. On the Goodreads discussion boards about this topic there is a bevy of thoughts on the subject. For me, it was the return to college that was my “Great Perhaps” this time around. I did a year of classes back in 2001 to 2002 (at MSU Denver, hilariously enough) but took a year off and it just fell to the wayside for over ten years but I always quietly knew I’d have to come back and face it again.
This semester (as discussed in my previous post) was a jarring experience on all fronts. Each semester has held it’s own challenge or unique experience which leads me to conclude (and agree with several Goodreads posters) that the idea of “A Great Perhaps” moves down the field like in soccer (football for everyone outside the USA), NFL football, or even basketball. It is constantly changing with each new goal being scored. You score that goal, make that touchdown or shoot that three pointer and it’s a thrilling moment you celebrate with the fellows on the field and the crowds in the stadium but everyone knows it’s not over. The other team could kick in the ball, make an interception or even steal the ball out your very hands. You need to keep moving your feet, keep passing and keep running that court. We all want to win that game but it’s not won on one small play. It’s won at the end when the whistle blows, the fourth quarter comes to an end or the buzzer bleats.
I was looking back on the posts here over the last two years and I think I was writing about “A Great Perhaps” all along as I worked (and continue to do so) through my struggles and my successes. My Great Perhaps – for now – is college and my impending graduation in Spring of 2018. Once that diploma is secured, the next Great Perhaps begins as I seek a job as a educator. Then it will be mastering my classroom curriculum. Then it will be working with my students, my fellow teachers, administrators and parents. There’s more Great Perhaps after that, I’m sure. Life never stops living. It moves, pushes and pulls at you.
To borrow the sports analogy, I’ll be on the field playing at this for awhile, right there with you. Let’s make it a game they’ll talk about for years to come eh?