Three weeks in. The new college has been inaugurated (just on Tuesday morning, in fact). The YNCers donned formal wear for what would possibly be the last such collective gathering for a long time to come.The media have come and gone in a flurry, snapping photos and snatching soundbites. The last interviews have been conducted. The newspaper articles have been published. The hype of opening a new college is beginning to fade, and we're settling down to business.
And oh, what business it is. Things are going by in a mad rush. I feel like we're in a buffet that closes in five minutes: we're rushing down the aisle, sampling a bit of this and a smidgen of that, grabbing a spoonful here and a forkful there. We're skimming - skimming through our readings because we don't have the time to read them (where did all those hours go, anyway?); skimming through massive topics in one-hour lectures (both Kongzi and Mozi were covered in one sitting); skimming through richly-layered texts like a catamaran over the Pacific (we blazed through the Ramayana in two weeks and are now writing a paper on it). I just don't feel like we're fully engaged with anything. I'd love to have pondered over Kongzi, Mozi, Mengzi and Xunzi a lot more, but as time is such a scarce and precious resource, perhaps Xunzi's advice will have to be followed for now:
"The greatest cleverness lies in not doing certain things, and the greatest wisdom lies in not pondering certain things."
That's why I've stopped doing my Scientific Inquiry readings.