The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 28, 1999, Page 5, Image 5

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    Life learning
College teaches better lessons than what’s on the course syllabus
ERIN REITZ is a senior the
ater performance major
and a Daily Nebraskan
Ladies and gents, it has arrived.
The end of the year (already!). Can
you believe it? My, how time flies.
About this time each year, I like to
sit myself down and evaluate how
much I’ve learned. Yeah, I really do
this. I know, it seems odd to attempt to
comprehend what one has gotten out
of his/her yearly college experience. I
think we’re just supposed to smile and
nod and come back for more.
Not me. I’m not doing that any
more. Oh, believe me, I’m coming
back for more (much, much more).
I’ve just decided that I don’t enjoy
“smiling and nodding” very much. I’ll
save that for job interviews.
I’m here to learn, so now I need to
get an understanding of whether or not
that has happened.
I’d like to attempt this now by tak
ing some time to break down what
I’ve learned in my educational experi
ence this year at NU. Maybe once I get
it all on paper, I’ll know for sure.
Ladies and gentlemen, Erin’s scholar
ly breakdown:
1.1 now know why the sky is blue.
For real. I took liberal arts physics
last summer (feel free to snicker) and I
actually know the answer to the age
old question asked by millions of chil
dren to their bewildered parents. (I
better write the answer down while I
can still remember it, so that I can tell
my wondering kiddies someday, huh?)
This is one thing that I’m actually
a little upset to know the answer to,
though. A lifelong wonder has been
explained to me, and I’m missing the
mystery. Bummer.
2.1 now know that people are
going to change and there s not a
damn thing you or I can do about it.
More people I know have done
180s this year than I’ve ever noticed
before. They’re wanting to do things
that they never thought they would,
such as getting married and having
babies and settling down. Or give up
on math or medicine in the pursuit of
expressing themselves through art.
I think of myself as someone who
thrives on change, but maybe I don’t
anymore. Maybe it’s just little changes
in myself that I’m a fan of, and not
those in others. But I’m learning to
deal with it. People who’ve come into
my life are exiting it, and that’s going
to keep happening. It stinks, but it’s
OK, because that’s life.
3.1 now know that Lincoln drivers
are the worst drivers in the United
States of America.
I just want to re-emphasize one
more time that no one sucks more.
4.1 now know that just when you
stop looking for it, love willfind you.
It’s a strange phenomenon and the
hardest one to buy.
I looked hard for a lot of years and
I finally decided I didn’t have time for
it. And just like that, plunk, it fell into
my lap. The weird part is that, even
though I don’t have much time for it, I
somehow do. It sort of makes its own
time (sounds like something from the
X-Files, eh?).
This one is two-part, though. I
can’t leave out the section about the
uselessness of trying to stop it from
happening. It’s cliched, but it’s true - if
it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way of
being. Fighting it just doesn’t work too
well. You’ll never get to experience the
ride it’ll take you on if you try to get
away from it.
5. I now know that getting canned
may be the best thing that could hap
pen to you.
This is another one that’s difficult
to swallow. Hear me out, because this
time, I just may know what I’m talk
ing about.
I was removed from what was,
well, my life of the past 2 years in
March. I screwed up a couple of times
and can’t call myself an SA anymore.
I was pretty devastated and fought it
tooth-and-nail for awhile, but now I’ve
accepted it.
Now I think I may be embracing it.
For the first time in two years, I
can actually concentrate on myself.
I’m not expected to baby-sit adults
who don’t need baby-sitting anymore,
and man, it’s a great feeling.
I actually have time to do my
schoolwork. Oh wait, isn’t that what
I’m supposed to be doing as a college
student? Sorry Res Ed, I think I’m
enjoying being thought of as a student
a lot more than as a staff member.
6.1 now know that I can’t take any
more Pepsi, even when it’s being given
Pretty self-explanatory, I think.
7.1 now know that trying to be
Super Woman (or Super Man) will
eventually bum you out, no matter
who you are.
I thought I had the drive and
the time to do everything there is
to do at the U, all at once. So
maybe I did have the drive, but no
one has the time. It stinks, but
sometimes you have to choose.
Going crazy running from
one thing to another is no way to
go through your time here. Sure,
try it for one year, but give yourself
breathing room to enjoy the experi
ence of just being here. You just
might feel more fulfilled by doing
(3.1 now know that someday, all
of this construction will be done. m
I may have to hang around M
here for 30 more years, earning ®
multiple degrees, but eventually
I’ll see the campus in one lovely piece.
I’m just glad the union was finished
before I graduated. Now if they’ll just
unlock the doors to that balcony, all
will be well.
9.1 now know that, if I don’t want
to, I don’t have to grow up.
Just like everyone else here, I
think too much about how I’ll have to
act when I get out of college. I just
picture myself becoming this mucho
seriouso adult, and it’s a bit unsettling.
I don’t want to feel unsettled,
dangit! I want to feel like I can still
embrace frivolity. (Maybe that’s
why I want to do theater -1
don’t want to stop playing.)
The beauty of life is
that I can embrace frivoli
ty as long as I want to. We
all can. We can make life our
own never-ending game of
freeze tag if we want. All we
need are people to play with.
So, that’s it. Not too much, not too (sorry, Dr. Grange). Maybe I’ll discuss
complex and nothing that my profes- that one next time_
sors lectured me on. Yes, of course I Here’s hoping you learned as
learned a wealth of info in my classes, much as I did this year. Happy dead
I just happen to feel that maybe these week, happy finals and happy summer
things are a little more important than everyone,
being able to tell you the difference
between Futurism and Dadaism
Shawn Drapal/DN**
Save our souls
Society has failed humans; faith must take over
J.J. HARDER is a senior
political science and broad
casting major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
The acts of the sinful nature are
obvious: sexual immorality, impurity
and debauchery; idolatry and witch
craft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of
rage, selfish ambition, dissensions,
factions and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like. I warn you that
those who live like this will not inher
it the kingdom of God.
- Galatians 5:19-21
I wonder if Louis Armstrong
would still want to sing “What a
Wonderful World” after all of this.
I’m not just talking about the
killing in Colorado. I’m talking about
the status of our entire planet. A
world whose countries thrive on
hatred and perform ethnic cleansing.
A nation that embraces an unethical
and power-hungry president. A state
that ponders treating sexuality as
simply a lifestyle. A city whose citi
zens kill each other in cold blood
over drug money. A university that
conspires to hide the remains of thou
sands of humans.
We want to think it’s all society’s
fault. We want to blame it on bad par
enting. We say it’s the media or the
movies. We need more laws. We need
to reform our environment, because
that’s what has caused all of this.
Well, maybe we need to quit
pointing our fingers and stop talking
about what we can do to solve our
moral dilemma. Let’s stop blaming
and take a break from discussing.
We’ve come to the point that we
can no longer shift the burden onto
someone or something else. We need
to stop and think that maybe, just
maybe, it isn’t something that society
has gained or lost. It’s not the courts
and not politics or entertainment or
education. It’s ourselves. And it’s
called human nature.
This idea definitely doesn’t sit
well with Americans. We want to
think that we really are the kings of
the world. We have freedom: life, lib
erty, and the pursuit of whatever we
want to fill up that void inside with.
Speech, religion, press, assembly -
anything we want as long as it doesn’t
hurt anybody else.
And we think that we’re good.
Hey, we do our part. That five bucks
to the United Way each spring, and a
birthday card to Mom. Open a few
doors, try to remember to say please,
and everything’s peachy. We all can
go about our lives, doing our own
things, and it’ll work out in the end.
But we fail to realize something
very important - that along the way,
in that glorious quest to get what we
want without hurting others, that we
hurt others. A lot. And deeply.
It’s not because we screw up
along the way or we weren’t raised
correctly. It’s because each of us is
prey to the nature with which we are
bom. We choose to turn our heads
and cover our eyes, but the truth
hurts. We are bad people. All of us.
When someone makes us angry,
we want to hurt them. We can only
hope to learn to control ourselves.
When we see something we want, we
want to get it. Even if it hurts some
one. If it feels good, we want to do it.
Regardless of the consequences.
Think of a baby. He eats and
sleeps, the only things he thinks he
needs. And if he doesn’t get what he
wants, he cries. His needs come first;
nothing else matters.
Only later in life do we learn that
we can’t always get what we want.
And that we need to be patient. And
unselfish. Loving. Caring.
And over the past century, we’ve
come to rely on society’s structures to
teach us those things. More bureau
cracy should lead to satisfying every
one. And the government can direct
us to help the underprivileged. The
schools can teach values. The com
munity can keep us accountable.
That’s really where we made the
mistake. Just for a moment, some
where along the way, we allowed
society to take over for a small part of
our lives. We thought it would make
things easier and more efficient.
But we forgot about that pesky
thing called human nature. That some
people would let it get the best of
them and take advantage of the sys
tem. And the entire system went
under. In a big way.
The whole ball of wax caught on
fire and all the lobbying and public
speaking in the world couldn’t put it
out. Eventually the people whose
human nature overtook their morali
ty, started clinging to that inherent
nature. They started embracing it,
and saying that we’re all faulty. We
all make mistakes.
No doubt we do, but when we put
our human nature on a pedestal and
divert to it every time we screw up,
we’re in a world of hurt. Clinging to
human nature is really a perversion of
the truth. Mark Twain said it best:
“Isn’t human nature the most
consummate sham and lie that was
ever invented? Isn’t man a creature to
be ashamed of in pretty much all his
aspects? Is he really fit for anything
but to be stood up on the street cor
ner as a convenience for dogs? Man,
“Know thyself - and then thou wilt
despise thyself, to a dead moral cer
I think that’s what we really need
to do - know ourselves. If we as a
nation can again realize that we aren’t
good, and that we aren’t anywhere
near perfect, then we’ll be on the
right track. This human nature
plagues us all, so let’s all conclude
that we need to deal with it again.
Society has failed, so we need a
grass-roots effort to make any new
It’s a pride issue. Let’s humble
ourselves and know that we cannot
stand alone in our society. That temp
tation is just giving into that human
nature, and we can try to fight it. And
we can win.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, good
ness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control. Against such things there
is no law. Those who belong to Christ
Jesus have crucified the sinful nature
with its passions and desires.”
- Galatians 5:22-24