As a drumrolling billboard for my upcoming report on my Oxford experience and subsequent visit to London this is the last post written before I left town, which is happening tonight. The exciting chronicle begins Monday. As for now...
Final impressions before the upcoming adventure…
I feel the excitement of going to camp.
(CAMP DIRECTOR, STANDING IN FRONT OF “BUS 4”, READING OFF A CLIPBOARD)
Ooh, there’s that jolt. Off we go into the wild blue yonder…
The class at Oxford is entitled Twentieth Century Political Thinking. Subsections: “Democracy”, “Feminism” and Multiculturalism.”
And you thought I was a lightweight.
Which I may, in fact, prove to be should the curriculum fly tauntingly over my head.
“We’re up here… Dumbbell.”
As if “intellectual deficiency” wasn’t enough, there is actually something even more troubling gnawing at my innards.
What if I fly six thousand miles with a mind that is impenetrably closed, not closed, as I see others’ on both sides minds closed, but closed in a uniquely different way – and I’m not sure about the “uniquely” – hewing, not angrily to the extremes, but set unshakably in the middle?
Imagine traveling that torturous distance and returning, holding the same views and perspectives I had when I left home.
That can easily happen when personal preconceptions filter and distort, my “Confirmation Bias” accepting only what I already believe and rejecting all outside assaults to my ideological status quo.
What if it’s there’s no escaping that phenomenon? What if that is simply the way it is?
What if there is actually no such thing as a truly, acceptingly “openly mind”?
I take these worrying concerns, as per usual, down to the ocean. And wouldn’t you know it? There’s my invisible Mariachi band – nine strong – hovering over the Pacific, dressed in festive Mexican attire, but honoring the occasion, doffing their traditional broad-brimmed sombreros in favor of towering “Beefeater” helmets.
The band regales me with a personalized creation – including a sensitive response to my conundrum – which goes something like this:
“Tell them all you know
Let your wisdom show
Tell them what you think about
Pretty good, eh?
It’s not “Bus 4”, ‘cause it’s going up in the air. But as I did then, I climb aboard the awaiting transportation, the knot tightening in my stomach,
And away we go.
I’ll see yuz, okay?