چهارشنبه، فروردین ۲۸، ۱۳۹۲

The road ahead is a long one

چهار روز پیش کابل بودنم یک‌ساله شد. روز شنبه سیزده آپریل رسیدم و روز یک شنبه اولین روز کاری، طالبان اولین حمله‌ی spring offensive شان را عملی کردند. طوری به کابل حمله کردند که برای هجده ساعت مرکز شهر را در دست داشتند و من خیلی خوب یادم است که شب ساعت دو درگیری کابل از روی پشت بام خانه مان شبیه آتش بازی بود و تا صبح از صدای هلی‌کوپترها نتوانستم بخوابم. صبح دوشنبه ساعت هفت اس ام اس تیم امنیتی آمد که آخرین طالب هم کشته شد. منظورشان از آخرین، آخرین از تیم حمله بود که توی یک ساختمان نیمه کاره از ظهر یک‌شنبه تیراندازی می‌کردند به اطراف. 

نمی‌دانم چقدر یاد گرفته‌ام توی این یک‌سال،‌ اما مطمئنم خیلی زیاد. شاید باید دور باشم تا بتوانم خودم در افغانستان را از بالا ببینم، اما هنوز زود است برای رفتن و دور بودن. هر از چندگاهی بمب‌گذاری‌ها و VIP Movement زندگی‌ روزانه‌م را مختل کرده، آستانه‌ی تحمل‌م روز به روز پایین‌تر آمده و شاید ده تا نق دیگر، اما خوب آگاهم به این‌که زندگی روزانه‌ي من ارزشی ندارد وقتی یک کشور در جنگ است و این آن حس "این نیز بگذرد" را خیلی قوی می‌کند. ته‌ش هیچ چیز مهم نیست، چون  The road ahead is a long one

در راستای این‌که هچی چیز مهم نیست خواستم این‌مقاله‌ی خیلی خوب را هم‌خوان کنم:

COLLEGE PRESSURES -- William Zinsser

An Article from The Norton Reader, Norton-Simon Publishing, 1978 

Dear Carlos: I desperately need a dean's excuse for my chem midterm which will begin in about 1 hour. All I can say is that I totally blew it this week. I've fallen incredibly, inconceivably behind.
Carlos: Help! I'm anxious to hear from you. I'll be in my room and won't leave it until I hear from you. Tomorrow is the last day for .......
Carlos: I left town because I started bugging out again. I stayed up all night to finish a take-home make-up exam and am typing it to hand in on the 10th. It was due on the 5th. P.S. I'm going to the dentist. Pain is pretty bad.
Carlos: Probably by Friday I'll be able to get back to my studies. Right now I'm going to take a long walk. This whole thing has taken a lot out of me.
Carlos: I'm really up the proverbial creek. The problem is I really bombed the history final. Since I need that course for my major I ....
Carlos: Here follows a tale of woe. I went home this weekend, had to help my Mom, and caught a fever so didn't have much time to study. My professor .....
Carlos: Aargh!! Trouble. Nothing original but everything's piling up at once. To be brief, my job interview .....
Hey Carlos, good news! I've got mononucleosis.
Who are these wretched supplicants, scribbling notes so laden with anxiety, seeking such miracles of postponement and balm? They are men and women who belong to Branford College, one of the twelve residential colleges at Yale University, and the messages are just a few of the hundreds that they left for their dean, Carlos Hortas -- often slipped under his door at 4 a.m. -- last year.

But students like the ones who wrote those notes can also be found on campuses from coast to coast -- especially in New England, and at many other private colleges across the country that have high academic standards and highly motivated students. Nobody could doubt that the notes are real. In their urgency and their gallows humor they are authentic voices of a generation that is panicky to succeed.

My own connection with the message writers is that I am master of Branford College. I live in its Gothic quadrangle and know the students well. (We have 485 of them.) I am privy to their hopes and fears -- and also to their stereo music and their piercing cries in the dead of night ("Does anybody ca-a-are?"). If they went to Carlos to ask how to get through tomorrow, they come to me to ask how to get through the rest of their lives.

Mainly I try to remind them that the road ahead is a long one and that it will have more unexpected turns than they think. There will be plenty of time to change jobs, change careers, change whole attitudes and approaches. They don't want to hear such liberating news. They want a map -- right now -- that they can follow unswervingly to career security, financial security, social security and, presumably, a prepaid grave.
What I wish for all students is some release from the clammy grip of the future. I wish them a chance to savor each segment of their education as an experience in itself and not as a grim preparation for the next step. I wish them the right to experiment, to trip and fall, to learn that defeat is as instructive as victory and is not the end of the world.

My wish, of course, is naive. One of the few rights that America does not proclaim is the right to fail. Achievement is the national god, venerated in our media -- the million dollar athlete, the wealthy executive -- and the glorified in our praise of possessions. In the presence of such a potent state religion, the young are growing up old.

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