Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Now that we’re back on campus, we realize how good we had it during the break. It provided us with time to be insensibly busy with things that are not school. While it was nice not to have a spare moment doing things that weren’t school, there were some aspects of being on campus that were longed for.

Things I missed about school:


Nothing is more rewarding than the unrelenting pursuit of knowledge. I love everything about studiousness — the majority of my time being taken up by it, the sleeplessness and the intellectual challenge. During the break, my major intellectual task for each day was to catch up on Star Wars: The Clone Wars seasons one and two. Now I’m back to reading night and day in a vain attempt to keep up — a scholar’s dream.


Rational self-restraint is a treat not enjoyed during holiday time. Holidays are for feasting drinking and general merry-making to excess. The “grind,” as some refer to it, features intense moderation of alcohol intake, food intake and recreation time. What could be better for the serious academic?


Diligence, that’s what could be better. Diligence is the best of both worlds, combining the fun of persistent application of the mental faculties with the gravity of earnest effort. The truly great thinkers are the ones who remain steadfastly academic in the face of inscrutable fun. To remain studious and temperate in midst of the succubus of entertainment is the true test of diligence.

Things I did not miss about school:

Every door handle, every chair, every desk was handled by the grimy phalanges of thousands of other people. Being on campus is a constant bombardment of the immune system, and given the hygiene levels of most arts students, many of its hallowed halls become cesspools of communicable diseases. A positively loathsome aspect of academia.

Not eating

Of all the things I did not miss about being in school, not eating is the second one I’m mentioning. The intemperance of the holidays got me accustomed to eating whenever I felt the urge and now, during a three-hour class, with my attention waning, I long for a time of studiousness and diligence, but with the ability to snack whenever I so desire. I suppose to eat one’s cake, in addition to mere possession, is an unreasonable thing to ask.


People are the worst. Intentionally misrepresenting and interpreting his work, I turn to Sartre who said, “Hell is other people.” People are the kind of things that stop in front of you and turn around suddenly and are actually surprised by a person running into them. They spread the aforementioned germs and, worse yet, imbecilic ideas and trivialities during valuable class time. They clog the hallway arteries with large formations of plaque called “friends,” and impede the flow of more serious blood cells to their classrooms.

There you have it. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if the benefits of being in school outweigh having to deal with germs, not eating and people — truly regrettable inconveniences, granted, but leaving studiousness, temperance and diligence behind is a tough sacrifice. Happy asceticism, everyone!

1 Comment on "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

  1. Barry Alfonso | December 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |

    I looked up the phrase “the succubus of entertainment” and this is what I came up with. I don’t know what you’ve gone on to do with yourself, Ben, but you are a visionary for using these truly resonant words!

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