Hawkward Thoughts (many)

Sun, 2017/10/15

Writing and Wingeing and Rice Krispy Treats

Wm. Stefan Herzing

I love writing essays, I’m just one of those people. It’s fairly easy for me to lay out the framework on the fly and fill it in with without much exposition or fluff. I also enjoy writing narratives, because no matter what you say, even if you decide the grass should be pink, that god is a watermelon with an opium addiction, or that the main character should start hitting on their mustached biochemistry teacher for no other reason than it strikes your fancy, there’s no wrong answer. But I must say, writing opinions to be consumed by the general public every week has got to be one of the most tedious activities I’ve ever undergone. I’m not really allowed to preach, I’m not allowed to cuss, and if I really go after something, kilns at full flame, someone is bound to get peeved. Along the same lines, I could, theoretically, write about pretty much anything. I have as many opinions as there are stitches in your socks. Opinions on old maps? Got it; the recent lack of embellishments, much like in modern architecture, make for a more accurate and clean-cut depiction of relevant information, but the cost of connection to the piece at a personal level made by such blasé tastes make them less interesting to study or to simply marvel over. Opinion on spinach? It’s delicious and full of vitamins and anyone that disagrees with me can fight me about this; I’ve got time. However, the recurring theme here is that who in their right mind would sit down after picking up an educational, imitation-tabloid newspaper and think that reading some guy’s two cents on spinach and old maps is a good way to spend the afternoon? Clearly, this has just been a session of my wingeing, per usual, so if you’re one of those oddballs who actually cares about my opinions, I’ll say that the theme for today is the recent decision of the Common’s to have Rice Krispy Treats every so often instead of brownies. I couldn’t emphasize more over how embarrassed I am that I didn’t think of bringing this up to the chefs sooner. It’s a stroke of genius. Depending on how they prepare the sweet little angels, it’s essentially killing three birds with one sugary stone: no milk, no nuts, and no gluten. They’re fantastic. Word of warning, however: they are available at Global Grounds, thank the stars, but they will taste like pesticide from sitting in their presentation fridge for a few days; you’ll have to let the babies breathe.

The Pointers, the Leeches, and the Sheep

William Stefan Herzing

Out of all of the changes that have taken place in the classroom since high school, the development of the “Pointer” student is to me the most interesting. These students, as the name would suggest, point at things; they are also pointed at. What they point at tends to be other students, locations where they should go, and what they should be doing once they get there. Their words also inform others, in bullet-point fashion, the same; what they want to be done, how they want it done, who should do it, where it should be done, and by when they want it done.

They also are pointed at, by professors and others of head positions, and regarded as the next in line of command. This ethos gives them the power to point, as if from divine right, over their comrades. Especially given the sloth culture overwhelmingly common in the collegiate atmosphere, those that are pointed at might resent the ordered direction, but it’s less work for them in the long run, so the Sheep will follow.

There are also those that do their damnedest to become Pointers and think that this requires cuddling up to those in power, raising their hands constantly, a chipper attitude, and volunteering for extra work whenever possible. They, the Leeches of the hierarchy, work in vain; they will never become Pointers. They may become a secretary or an assistant, but they will never be one who can take it upon themselves to command without another in charge.

To fight the injustice of the hierarchy is noble if ultimately folly, to attempt to climb the rungs is brave, to accept your position is honorable, and to reject its existence is downright ignorant. There are always, and forever will be, Pointers, Leeches, and Sheep in the classroom. The classroom then becomes the world, and the positions will stay. Do not look towards those in political power later on, especially in democracy, for bureaucracy is the realm of the Leech. The Pointers will affect change at a higher level, yet in doing so will become invisible to the common eye. As such, look for the Pointers around you now, before they are released upon the world, so you can recognize them at least at this moment. They will achieve greatness, and unlike the Leech, will honor those who adhere to their lead. If it is ultimately not your place here in college to become a Pointer or even a Leech, it is at least your duty to yourself to learn who to follow.

Friction of Collegiate Opinions

Wm. Stefan Herzing

In a macroeconomic sense, it has been my opinion for some time that the niche culture brought about by the recent development of social media, especially those like Twitter and Tumblr, is an especially powerful and dangerous tool. Instead of the respect for other’s opinions and for their personal virtues, it is now more commonplace to instead see the apparition of ego, especially aimed and poignant, within otherwise civilized debates. It is also worth noting that I, though it might seem I am trying to discourage the idea, am just as much at fault for my expression as any other I criticize. However, at the collegiate level which we now find ourselves, our self-expression stands at an interesting junction. While we have been primed to believe that this is the time at which we should be refining ourselves and our personal standings, we have already been doing so for at least a decade as few others before us have been able to. Social media, chat groups, online entertainment, and the like have already honed us to the points attained by our collegiate alumni, who now, upon being confronted by this new wave of anti-traditionalists, neo-socialists, and bureaus of political correctness, feel as though we are dismantling their delicate establishments and slitting their social hierarchies at the throat. The distinction between these two groups, as apparent in every movement before, is neither a brick wall nor a distinct line between ages, but a jagged and unpredictable glass pane that interrupts all generations; each side interpreting a different color. As well, there are those that phase through that wall, agreeing to whoever has the biggest microphone, but they are the outlier. In short, this is the first time since the 1960’s that the majority of the collegiate body and their peers have had such an alternative point of view from their elders. We may not handle it as well as they did, we might handle it better. We might bring about change, we might become bogged down in the swamps of bureaucracy. We might offend those who stand on the other side of the glass pane, but it is known that the power and righteousness of the public always sway toward those who have the most ink, and I intend to keep writing.