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Transient Mode–Goodbye

October 24, 2009

So, once again, I fail at constantly updating here, but I really don’t like posting when I haven’t much to say. I’m not sure I have much to say now, but I figured I might as well give it a go.

Tomorrow is the eighth annual Brisbane Zombie Walk, which I intend to participate in with gusto, or as much gusto as zombies can ever muster, I guess. At the end of the walk, everyone will try and do the world’s longest moonwalk. And then there is a big after party, and then I’ll return to the real world of assessments and exams.

The semester is winding down. We only have two more weeks of classes, followed by one week of study-time, followed by exams. I only have one exam, and it falls on the first day of exam week, meaning that directly after that, I will be up rooting myself yet again and exploring this vast, dust country until my arrival in America on December 15th. Soon the fun and scary part will come. The part where I strike out on my own with a back pack and a bus ticket. I’m both excited and apprehensive, but I know that it will be very rewarding to primarily rely on myself for everything.

But I am trying not to put too much thought into that whole business yet, because there’s still a great amount of work to be done before I can relax and explore. 2 essays, 2 design projects, and one exam, to be exact.

Its interesting to talk to my fellow Antiochians, particularly my fellow first-years (or, if not properly talk to them, to stalk them on facebook), and see just how much and how little we’ve all recovered from that whole wonderful disaster. Our year at that school, no matter if we enjoyed it, hated it, or just try to ignore it, impacted us in a way that is only mirrored by a really awful relationship. It left us lost, transient, and some of us are still trying to make peace with the whole situation. As for me, well, I’m pretty over it. I do not want Antioch to re-open, and I will not be attending if/when it does.

Antioch and it’s students helped me so much in finding out who I am. That’s not true: Antioch confused the hell out of me, and changed my view of myself drastically. Without its huge kick in the ass, I would not have discovered who I am as a philospher (wannabe), activist, or person in general. Without the people I knew, weather I keep in close contact with them or not, I wouldn’t understand how healthy relationships function. Even how dysfunctional relationships can be healthy. Sometimes I try and think about who I would be without Antioch, and it actually scares me, because it would have been so easy to just go to Ball State and let myself just be swept away into the main stream.

But I didn’t. I went to Antioch. And I had my world shifted and rocked and altered. And if I hadn’t gone to Goucher afterwards, or come here and gotten away from everyone, I would still be the mess I was when I left Antioch. Breaking down everything  I thought and did was incredibly useful for me, because, I mean, sometimes you have to tear something apart to properly reassemble it, right? but I am convinced that if I had stayed at Antioch for three more years, the fragments it created would not have formed an entity I could be satisfied with. It was too messy, too unstructured, and too wrapped up with itself. There was nothing about the big picture in my mind when I was studying, and very few people seemed to have it in their visual scope either. The campus was bogged down in its own politics and indoctrination, and now that I have removed myself from that environment, I can properly see that.

Antioch did me a lot of good, once I had healed from all of the damage that it and its closing did. I ran away to New Mexico and then to Maryland. I moped around Goucher, feeling sorry for myself and my former peers, ever-restless and not willing to accept this new, less radical place as something truly positive. But I slowly realized how much that was a giant load of bull shit. Antioch was not the end all be all of academic, radical thought. It was poorly organized and self-serving. Its heart was in the right place, but its politics were frustrating and hypocritical. With a larger student body, a more intellectually diverse student body, I think it wouldn’t have broken us in so many ways.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love Antioch. I wouldn’t trade my year there for all the kittens in the world (and we all know how much I love kittens). I hope to never lose touch with the people I met there, because  they are some of the most brilliant I have ever encountered. I will never been able to escape the sense of social justice it instilled in me, and I will never stop thinking of it as my home. But I can’t let it be the only place I call home anymore. I can’t dwell on it anymore, like it was the only place that accepts me, because that’s just not true. It only seemed true because I let myself believe it was.

And I think this is something that every one of us has been contemplating since we left–were forced out of–Antioch. I don’t know. I guess it’s just good for me to say that I’m glad I went there, but now I’m glad to shut that chapter of my life. I’m glad that I have very few days where I get so caught up in looking back at Antioch that I can’t appreciate where/who I am now. And I really hope that all of my fellow Antiochians get to that point if they haven’t already. Because dwelling on Antioch just isn’t healthy. Staying fixed in the ideological wreckage it presented us isn’t healthy.

I will never forget Antioch and all that it taught me and made me question. But I will not live my college years and maybe even beyond in the shadow of Transient Mode. I will take the philosophy of this popular Antiochian term and make it my own, but I will not let it tell me I can’t have another home. I will not let it fix Antioch College as my one and only true home. I’m sorry, Antioch. I love you, but I think it’s time we both move on. I can’t be restless forever. It takes the fun out of experience. And if there’s one thing I know you want from me, it’s that I stay light-hearted, justice-seeking, and enjoying myself and my life as much as possible.

Sorry to get so sappy, but, really, nothing’s happening here, so I might as well close some mental doors so I can focus better and have some new adventures =]

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One comment

  1. I love how you compare antioch to a bad relationship…. and also point out how helpful it was in transforming personality and identity.

    amen sister!



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