26 December 2009 The Unlearned Bliss of Curiosity
Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. -Mark Twain, 1898
The Unlearned. No words hold truer about my time at Notre Dame. Like most ignorant young university-bound folk, I arrived at Our Lady’s Golden Bubble with nothing but answers. My grandfather — a bonafide American gentleman of the class of 1940 — told me that above all else, my time at Notre dame must be devoted to “getting educated.”
I smiled and put forth a countenance that accepted his advice; but beneath the mask I saw Notre Dame as my avenue to one thing: riches. Education? I already had it. The craftiness I’d employed to get into Notre Dame was a legendary swindle, at least in my mind. No one had ever played the game like me, by my reckoning.
Four years later, the air of confidence has blown away on the answers it rode into South Bend. What was once was certain is now a question. Education, it seems, is not the accumulation of truth or strategems, but the art & science of the question; the mighty quest for conviction.
It is to this point in life journey that I’ve finally arrived. Nothing is certain. Nothing is comfortable. Everything sits strangely & new in my heart & brain. That which was once my guiding light has been smothered by the very question of flame, and I find myself alone and enveloped in the bliss of curiosity.
NOTE: I wrote this in my Moleskine notebook on 6 June 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana.