Ah, college! The vast opportunities for learning, the endless ability to procrastinate, the lack of consequences for skipping class…I once skipped an introductory philosophy class so often that the professor asked my classmates if I was sick. Then there’s the time I defended my senior thesis before I wrote it–successfully! I hear that one still gets talked about.
I majored, among other things, in Philosophy, which meant that my roommate was on the receiving end of some major overly-serious pontification. My roommate was blonde, tan, and gorgeous, but you couldn’t hate her because she was also really, really nice. And smart. She started off as pre-med, ended up spending a year or two wandering around Australia, and then I kind of lost track of her after that. She ended up being the perfect person to have lengthy late-night conversations with about the meaning of life and assorted related topics.
One such conversation was about the definition of happiness. I thought there was one universal kind of happiness that we all participated in to a greater or lesser degree. Her point was that happiness is an emotion that depends in part on the capacity of your brain to process emotions. I think. So, she said, while she as a human had the ability to feel all different kinds and degrees of happiness, a frog is pretty much either blissful or dead. She paused, then concluded, “I really don’t think I’d want to be a frog!”
And they say kids don’t learn anything in school.