We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
During the age of Facebook, and of virtual hyperealities, teaching literature is underdeveloped, but the most valuable. The lack of technological adaptation is not a threat, but a challenge to the teacher of literature. Technological advancements and lack of educational budget puts literature teachers at challenging points, favoring teachers who share their knowledge in the technical fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. But considering this inevitable fact, literature teachers address the challenge by proving themselves worth it. Time comes when students realize that the most valuable knowledge they have ever known originates from literature.
Consider this: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, widely known as STEM, are where majority of the parents prefer to put their children because doing so does not make them wait a few more years to reap the fruits of their “investment” to their children. Their stereotypical judgment on technical course – that it will always leads to gaining instant money on their side – is a disappointing thought, which sometimes forces a student to study a course that does not interest him or her.
With the acronym sounding like the working backbone of everything, being the center of what we consider as the real world we call the corporation, we refer to them as the STEM. As what colloquial terms dictate engaging into those STEM courses is the only way to grow in an island, which is untrue.
With parents experiencing pressure to pay for their bills and settling their needs in life, the pleasure of studying is eclipsed by pressure. This has a long-term impact on the number of literature graduates teaching literature courses, which puts a University at the edge of becoming just a machine capable of producing graduates inclined in gaining money in the corporate world. On the other hand, we could not just imagine a University without liberal arts.
We could never imagine a school not teaching humanities and literature. On the other hand, disregarding literature courses will break the chain of academia practically in any University majors. It is like a bottle without soda or an ocean without water. It is like eating a chicken sandwich without chicken, like a body without soul.
Studying literature is different, much more when one teaches it. Technical courses provide a yardstick difficulty to the students and they teach to mold the students, which aims to generate uniform actions like a factory. In any given college major, may it be in STEM or Liberal Arts, what gives shape to anybody and provides distinction is the teacher of literature. Without a teacher in literature, studying in a University or in any schools will be boring and meaningless. Teaching literature is like reshaping an otherwise considered unchangeable and stiff. It is how one tames a wild beast. Engaging a student to various forms of literary works whether it is local or international is life-changing. Engineers having knowledge of Virgil, nurses with The Fish Hair Woman mean that they are not only having superficial lives, but the soul which is capable of changing other people’s lives.
Seeing the horizon of the future of literature and its teaching in the modern world, one might further ask, still, is there a space for a teacher to hold on to? Provided that everyone does need University education, yes, and we also want to gain money after graduation, and the corporate world is waiting for us, and there is a need for teachers of literature, is there a need for a teacher in literature in the digital age?
If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness, dear, my happiness will remain, in the moist reflection of a streetlamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal’s black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human lonliness.
To possess something is to lose it. To feel something without possessing it is to keep it, because in that way one extracts its essence.
My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddle strings and harps, drums and tambourines I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.
Let me remember how it used to be, and bring one morning back again.