The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shari's High School Experience

I had a friend at college named Shari. She had wild unkempt hair that was always sticking out in every direction and she dressed in a casually hippyish sort of way. She was a very smart and capable student. In her junior year she won a scholarship to study at Oxford for her Junior year and she finished her degree a one of the top students in our class She did an interdisciplinary major in philosophy and art and had a particular interest in French post-Modernist thought, and was particularly well read in such figures of that movement as Fouccault, Irigiray, Derrida and Deleuze and Guattari. Heavy stuff, to be sure. Even as someone like me who's been studying the history of philosophy for years I find Deleuze and Derrida to be very inaccessible.

The reason she was such a good reader was that she'd been an intense and avid reader during high school and had gotten a big head start on reading a lot of the stuff that most of us would only be introduced to in college. When she was in high school she was reading way above her grade level, especially in philosophy and literature. But this wasn't part of her school curriculum. In fact, because she found her school curriculum so boring she would frequently skip class. Unlike most students, though, she would skip class so that she could go to the library and read the type of challenging stuff that her teachers wouldn't give her. She had two guy friends that would join her, and the three of them together were like a street gang of Fouccault-toting, Derrida-quoting rebels, who people were afraid to mess with, lest they be crippled by a well-timed Deleuzean quip.

As a student, she barely eked by, graduating with poor grades. When she was accepted to study at a college, she leapt at the opportunity, seeing it as an opportunity to turn her life around. The two guy friends of hers hadn't been so lucky and their lives had started down less promising paths after finishing high school and failing to get into college. They'd gotten involved in drugs, weren't maintaining their same levels of intellectual dedication and were struggling financially. She was always thankful for her good luck and thus made the best of her situation, but it's illustrative to have her friends as a point of comparison to see how differently things could have gone.

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