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November 28th, 2006 - Johnboy's Journal — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John Taylor

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November 28th, 2006

(no subject) [Nov. 28th, 2006|10:11 am]
John Taylor
[mood |A resurfacing dolphin]
[music |Last Unicorn - The Forest Awakens]

I'm officially registered for all of my classes. Except for a waitlist on one of my labs, I'm preparing for my final semester of college. Thanks to AP credits and taking more credits per semester than the average student, I'm graduating a year in advance with a degree in English, which, in my mind, is the path of least resistance through a four-year degree in an accredited university. People frequently ask me what I plan to do with an English degree. My answer - whatever the heck I feel like doing. I'm not going to let my degree limit my options or my career - if I want to do something that my English degree or my skills won't permit me, then I'll do what it takes to get the qualifications to perform that task. Currently my intentions after college are to begin studying Chinese and alternative medicine and become a licensed, professional practitioner. Why? Because through my own personal experience and research, these are effective ways of helping others (if you want to argue that they're ineffective and unproven, you're welcome to debate). Another ambition of mine is to become well-versed in systema enough that I can become a trainer licensed by Vladimir Vasiliev. Again, why? Because through my own personal experience and research, it's a martial art that is proven to be effective, useful, healthy, and fun. Because of the system, I'm no longer afraid for my person if I'm traveling by myself, and I feel that I have skill enough to help those suffering the abuses of others in a fight, rape, or mugging situation. Thanks to systema, I'm not afraid of conflict or facing the things that threaten me. But I want to take my abilities to a new level of developments and sensitivity, in learning to use it as a way of life, and for defending others and myself.

People have difficulty respecting those without a college degree - it has become a hallmark of success and of being cultured and educated. Granted, English is certainly the least respected of the degrees, barring perhaps Humanities or Fine Arts. Anyone can study Shakespeare or history and culture and consider themselves educated. What the college experience so rarely embraces is the actual real world history, the lifestyle that brought us culture and art and history. People think it's enough to simply study the works of others and through it, become cultured, but through this path lies stagnation and dormancy. There is no progress or synthesis in simply studying the works of others. All lessons are that - lessons! They are things that should be imparted and used as a reference, not as something that should be mimicked. If you want to understand the realities of war, then visit Iraq, Afghanistan, or Thailand. If you want to understand music, then go through the rigors of learning to play it. What does it feel like to be Picasso painting Guernica, to be Michelangelo carving out the David? Why should it matter to you except that you would want to feel that same passion and spark of inspiration that others have felt, that you might craft your own works from it? What good will facts do you, in a world of tangibility, of hearts and souls made flesh and ideas given form? In the words of Liam Neeson in Batman Begins, your training is nothing without the will to act.
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