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To study or not to study …

Anne Conover | Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to work

the dots and loops of Arabic script, or to take pencil against a field of electromagnetic forces

and, in calculations, quantify them. To die — to sleep —

no more — and by a sleep to say we ignore the grades and the trivial values of society’s academia

that success is heir to — Ah! ’tis a consummation

devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep …

To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,

for in that sleep of academic irresponsibility what dreams may come,

when we have shuffled off this tragic work ethic,

must give us pause. There’s the respect

that makes calamity of a college life.


For who would bear the sleeplessness and lack of time,

the incoherent TAs, the chauvinistic professors,

the pangs of despised lunch, the cruel RA,

the injustice of Res Life, and the snide remarks

that the less intelligent of us endure,

when one oneself might his quietus make

with a burdened bolster? Who would classes bear,

to study and labor under a wearying workload,

but that the dread of societal failure,

the pitifully evinced state in whose bourn

any poor resident is despised, puzzles the will

and makes us rather bear those ills we have

than fly to others that we know not of?


Thus conformation doth make cowards of us all,

and thus the native hue of independence and self-formation

is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of rationality,

and enterprises of great pith and moment

with this regard their currents turn awry,

and lose the name of action. — Yet soft you now!

The call of physics! Mine major, in thy tests

be my cruel studies remembered.


Anne Conover


Pasquerilla East Hall

Nov. 22