I am…not a good fit for University-style schooling.
I attended University for a times, and majored in technical theatre.
I had…many professors I did not really get along with, but there was one in particular that I had extremely fervent disagreements with.
I will never forget how she closed a two-week section on a play. She said “I know it might not seem like this to you, and I know you might not agree with me, but I want you to trust in me, and trust in my graduate-level education when I tell you that this is what this play is about.”
And I just…fundamentally don’t agree with that. Because my belief in art stems from the fact that art can mean different things to different people, and they are not wrong. In fact, the thing that I find most beautiful about art is that people can experience the same piece of art, but because they are different people who have different experiences and perspectives, they can connect with wildly different themes within the same art.
*That* is what I think is beautiful about art. That people can see so many different things, people connect with different facets of the same thing.
So…when you tell me that I am *wrong* about what I think about a play…we just disagreed on the very purpose of art.
Because I don’t really believe that any audience member can be wrong about what they got from a piece of art.
Opinions can’t be wrong. Inherently.
Opinions can be based around information or understanding that may not be correct, but opinions themselves cannot be wrong.
It’s hard for me to have a class taught by a professor who believes that my opinions are wrong because I am less educated than she is. Most people do not have a graduate-level education. That does not mean that the way they experience art is less valid.
I found the fucking book from the goddamn class
, and I did something I’ve never done before:
I burned that fucker.
I’ve not burned a book before, because…I love books. I truly believe that reading is pretty much the single most important skill for getting anywhere in this world.
More than that, I believe that knowledge is important – especially knowledge that is subversive, or from a perspective I don’t understand. Even if this knowledge has been proven to be incorrect, I still think it’s incredibly important to know what people thought at one time. Because that’s how we learn about where we’ve been and how we got to where we are.
It’s all important.
But this was a book full of the nights that I stayed up, knowing that no matter what I wrote it wouldn’t be good enough, and days spent waiting for office hours so I could find out exactly what the professor wanted to hear so I would be able to write it, because clearly my own thoughts and experiences were not informed enough to come up with intelligent ruminations on a given piece of theatrical literature. It was full of the stress of my friends, and the panic attacks outside of doorways.
So, for me, this book, was meant to go in the fire, because it doesn’t even look like a book to me.
It just looks like depression incarnate.