Education, Education, Education

My attitude to studying certainly exhibited my lack of focus, but then, I don’t think I ever considered the reasons for, or the purpose of, education, throughout my schooling. At the age of 4, we were all bundled into the institution and abandoned there for the next 12 years[1] [2]. We had to make our own entertainment. 

So, that’s what I did. I’m sure the more thoughtful and perceptive children started asking themselves, “what am I doing here? What is all this education for?”[3], and started to knuckle down to getting good grades, empowering and emancipating themselves through knowledge, but not me. I just continued trying to get through the days – pootling about, making my friends laugh, daydreaming. 

Then came girls and sex. The unsuccessful pursuit of both preoccupied me well into my twenties. 

Footnotes

1] You’d do less time for murder, with good behaviour.

[2] I’ve just recovered one of my earliest memories (I think): I’m in a seat bolted loosely to the back-carrier of my mother’s bicycle and we’re bowling down the hill into the village, through the shady tunnel formed by the great trees on either side, to deliver me to my National School. The seat is made of black metal slats, like Meccano, with a red plastic seat covering, and it rattles and sways alarmingly. I am halfway between exhilarated and fearful. In front of me my mother pedals steadily, her smooth straight hair, blown back, seems to shine with her serenity, in this dangerous situation. She is the most beautiful person in the world.

[3] Answer: “Shut up and get on with your colouring.”

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