While traditional students started the Fall semester a while back, I recently started attending classes at Lydia Anne’s school of parenting. School has been in session for 3 weeks now. It should have been 5 weeks, but because our diminutive professor has tenure she decided not to show up to the first two weeks of classes just to let us know who was in charge. Now that she’s finally arrived, classes have been going full throttle around the clock. Gone are the days of collegiate free time.
There are only two of us taking the class, so I should tell you a couple of things about my fellow classmate, Ali. She is really cute and puts up with me when I’m tired and grumpy, but at the same time she seems to be the class pet. She and professor Lydia seem to spend an excessive amount of time together. They are always talking, and up until this point Ali is the only one she has so much as smiled at. In class when the professor pulls a pop quiz Ali always seems to have the correct answer, while my best silly songs and ridiculous faces have gotten me little more than sub-par grades.
Professor Lydia never provided us with a written syllabus, so I confess I’m not entirely sure what the expectations are for the class. There are days when I think the goal is just to survive, sort of like taking Hebrew and Greek all over again, but let me share with you the biggest thing that I have learned thus far. I have been challenged by professor Lydia to slow down. There is a level of stillness and slowness built into the framework of this class. My tendency is to wake up in the morning with my checklist and speed from one thing to the next as I toss back caffeinated beverages to keep me going. As a lover of efficiency, at least that’s what I tell myself, I try to maximize every moment. I am just doing my best to “suck the marrow out of life,” but I have been reminded that making the most out of life does not mean doing the most in life.
Professor Lydia does not seem to be impressed by my accomplishments. She does not care how much I got done at work. She is much more interested in my ability to be fully present and to be a peaceful calming presence. As she falls asleep in my arms she forces me to slow down. She invites me out of the world of hecticness and into the world of stillness. She has forced me to realize how bad I am at doing nothing. There is a part of me that twitches when my fingers aren’t scrolling through my phone or typing on the computer. I have been programmed to consume. Every moment of every day is an opportunity to take in information or mindlessly consume one of the million entertainment options available to me. Stillness and silence are not viable options in this paradigm of consumeristic hyperactivity, but professor Lydia is reminding me that there is more to life than consuming. There is beauty in rest. I have a feeling that this is one of those lessons I will have to be taught time and time again, but I’m getting the vibe that my professor is up to the task.
I’m taking another rigorous course this semester called the Terrible Two’s with professor Samuel George. Apparently most people don’t recommend taking these two courses together, but you’ll have to tune in later to hear what I’m learning in that class.