Saturday, 25 September 2010

Where did I leave my innocence . . .

I have recently started teaching as a guest faculty in a University. The place is a rustic one and most of the students are from in and around the place. Though the institution is a University, it is still in its formative stages.

One thing that constantly captures my thoughts while interacting with the students is their obliviousness to an assortment of things. The students, if I can say are 'raw' and an epitome of bliss. They are not exposed to the bigger world around them and are quite happy. Observing them, I have often wondered: "Have I lost my innocence?" Being educated frees the mind of different trappings but the price one pays is the loss of something primal, instinctive and blissful.

Education forces us to think beyond the seen and coaxes us to question almost every single thing. This can get stifling at times. Blissfully unaware of existential s***, post-colonial angst and whatever, the students here meander through life. I know they might see my position as quite privileged in comparison to theirs. But looking at them, I cannot stop thinking: Where did I leave my innocence? I would love to answer: School, University and Mind boggling Theories.

Do you also sometimes feel like the way I do?





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43 comments:

  1. Wonderful and so insightful. I have always thought that happiness is the privilege of ignorance (in crude terms;), and I guess you touch upon similar sentiments here.
    There is so much pain and so much trouble in knowledge and experience. I have found that instead of finding a certain comfort in it, I grow more anxious.;)
    I am wishing you a blissful Saturday nevertheless my dear friend,
    xoxo

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  2. i think the can have an enlightened innocence...i still look for awe and wonder and all things new...but i have matured enough to know a few things that temper it..i think we do lose much the older we get...

    so what class are you teaching?

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  3. I dont think it is a good thing necessarily in today's world, to be an innocent abroad in a manner of speaking..I think it's a sign of the times that children today are so streetwise and booksmart as compared to us when we were children, and our parents think the same about us..I dont really regret a loss of innocence as much as I long for greater knowledge of this world..

    As far as innocence goes, I think it is best that we trade it in for the kind of wiles that will help us survive the kind of world we shall have to inhabit..

    As for your students, I hope they are not too hurt when their rose-tinted glasses come off..and yeah, Susan, what are you teaching? Are you having fun teaching? :)

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  4. Life is a journey, of exploring and learning. And much as we shed our innocence and inhibitions, we bloom into wiser beings.

    It all depends, how we use what we've learnt and continue our journey enlightening others. Being a teacher, I guess you can do that better than any of us:)

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  5. Every stage of life we leave behind a bit of innocence. However when we enter into the new stage we are faced with innocence in a different form.

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  6. Great topic and post, Susan.
    You're completely and utterly right... however, it is inevitable!
    Education and knowledge relates more to how we apply what we know in our daily life.
    It means sometimes become the cause of a change in this world...it means to understand/comprehend more effectively the beauty of Art.

    Education never stops; in everything we do there is a lesson.

    Have a great weekend, my wonderful friend!

    Hugs,
    Betty xx

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  7. I don't think innocence is quite the right word. Innocence is lost at puberty, but I do think there is an element of idealism that is the possession of the young. Personally, I think knowing more and understanding the world in depth is a great thing that we should all strive towards, we should work to never let the world corrode our idealism and our dreams.

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  8. wonderful post Maa'M ....which university is that....

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  9. I wonder if education can actually lead to seeing life more clearly--thereby freeing people to be happier. There are so may people who hold outdated ideas simply because they have not been presented with options.

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  10. innocence for worldly knowledge makes a pathetic trade-off we all are guilty of!

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  11. Yes sometimes innocence does seem like bliss. But, we can never go back once it is lost.

    Nice thoughts Susan.

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  12. Su, I love this ...

    deconstructing everything and then categorising and connecting them to some ism... hard to think straight sometimes with all these theories running in our heads, I say. :P twisted kind of sometimes. The innocence of the common man, the common thought, common duty is overlooked .. :)

    Such a lot of fresh ideas and exchange inside the classrooms... where you teaching, somewhere in the homeland

    mwaaaaaaaaah

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  13. Innocence?... (Sorry, it took me a couple minutes to go and look up the meaning of that word-lol)
    now, seriously, i must really think it over, I must have lost it long ago, for I feel it is nowhere to be found.
    Shame on me

    Joy my friend :)

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  14. Actually I pondered that yesterday when a children's show (Sesame Street) pulled the video of a singer because of her cleavage which was not very different than Snow White's (I really dont remember Snow White, just making a point). In all honestly, the cleavage was not offensive to anyone but the dirty minded adults. I was thinking that my kids were raised to see the body as normal, their innocence is intact because we allowed it to be.
    We get rid of innocence way too soon

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  15. Susan, I ALWAYS feel the way you do. As I interact with my students on a daily basis, I find myself saying, regularly: They live such carefree lives.

    But yet, our students do look at us with awe. My students always tell me, "Miss, I want to be a teacher so I can be just like you." Honestly, sometimes I feel like saying, "You don't want to do this for a living, child."

    And on the loss of innocence, I don't think we've lost it altogether. I think it's just hiding underneath all those layers of "knowledge" that we beat ourselves blue to acquire.

    Hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday, Susan. :-)

    Nevine

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  16. Zuzana:

    Knowledge is liberating but innocence is bliss!

    Brian:

    "Enlightened innocence" sounds fancy! Lol.

    I teach M. A. students and undergrads.

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  17. Karishma:

    Innocence is not a good thing but a coveted thing. I think just because we don't much see it, we have forgotten about it. Inspite of all that there rests an oasis of innocence within all of us. It might vary in degree but still.

    RGB:

    Welcome to the meanderings. Glad to have you join the conversation! We do blossom into wiser beings but still second-guess almost everything in life. Teacher, yes!

    Would love to see more of you. Joy always.

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  18. Savira:

    True what you have mentioned. We evolve from one stage to another.

    Betty:

    I know it is inevitable, Betty and that is why I wonder about it. Education . . .

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  19. TSW:

    Welcome here. Do I know you by any chance?

    BB:

    Education does different things to many people. Being happy, I guess is a choice we have to make irrespective of everything that is present.

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  20. Yuvika:

    I am the most guilty!

    Myrna:

    No one can buy the past! Sad but true.

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  21. Ash:

    Tell me about it! Near the homeland, Ask. In Central University of Tamil Nadu in Tiruvarur.

    Nice to see your comment. Big hugs to you, dear one!

    Dulce:

    Hmmmm. Hugs :)

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  22. JBT:

    Very true.

    Nevine:

    Teachers share the same sentiments :) So many connections between us. I am glad for that. It is definitely there, lurking underneath. But we hardly find time to coax it out.

    Have a beautiful and lovely week ahead, dear Nevine.

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  23. TM:

    Knowledge is stifling but wisdom is not, I reckon!

    Sam:

    Maybe innocence is not the right word but that is what came to my mind. But sometimes idealism and dreams smother our primal nature. We bury our instincts and innocence.

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  24. yes u do knw me... :) haha we 've met before :D try guessing who i could be :D

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  25. greetings susan - well, while i have gained/learned many other things over the years, i do hope that i've not lost even a drop of my innocence - i know it's still there to some degree as i feel it all the time - in one form or another - but i also know what you mean about your students - i was a single parent with 5 children when i began my undergraduate work and my classmates were 17 and 18 years old! ;)

    peace and love -

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  26. I would agree with toemailer (We give up innocence...for wisdom?) if he's talking about worldly wisdom. Not so with God's wisdom.

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  27. HEy from what I make out...the university must be in a rural or semi urban area....and the innocence or naivety might be bcos they havent seen the metros yet!!?

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  28. TSW:

    Apologies. I cannot recollect :)

    Jenean:

    You must be the most happiest person with all that innocence and goodwill! You are an amazing woman, Jenean. With five children, you began your undergrad! I cannot imagine myself doing that! Might have been a task!

    Much love and big hugs to you dear one :)

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  29. Ron:

    God's wisdom always nourishes and sustains. A nice thought to begin the week with. I wish you a lovely week ahead dear Ron.

    John:

    Rightly said: Quite rural!
    Metros have another story to tell. At this stage, I wonder: How can the rural and metro be balanced? Can they be balanced at all?

    Have a splendid week dear John and hope that you are feeling well and happy :)

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  30. Ignorance can be bliss more often than not and knowledge can get in the way of the senses..

    Have a good week ahead.

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  31. It is no rocket science
    that we lost our innocence
    the day we bit the apple and thence
    and we without everybody's indulgence
    can't be in this state of decadence.

    Seriously innocence or lack of it is pretty subjective. Our reason to term someone innocent stems from the fact that we feel we are superior to him/her.

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  32. I guess that's why they say 'ignorance is bliss'. But I still wouldn't give up all I know...despite the fact that thinking so much has made me cynical.

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  33. We all seem to leave our innocence behind at someplace...without even realizing it sometimes.

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  34. BM:

    Everything is stifling at times. Have a good week dear BM.

    Joy always :)

    Govind:

    Subjective, yes. Blame it on the moods!

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  35. PB:

    Even I wouldn't give up, you know. Thoughts surface and I post! Hope you are well, dear PB.

    Blogoratti:

    Very true :)

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  36. terna engineering college,nerul ...

    do u remember anything....

    Stephen

    PCT class

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  37. I believe that at a certain age, innocence returns. I get mine back in pieces--each time someone says, "Don't you remember me?" etc.

    My response could well be--sometimes is--"I don't even remember in what city I live...and that doesn't bother me one whit!"

    Otherwise: "Yer Honor...I'm INNOCENT!"

    --Mister Innocence--yeah, right!

    I've gotta get you on my blogroll--wondered why I only see you in 'comments', Susan D...one of my favorite Peeps!
    Steve

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  38. TSW:

    Mistaken identity! I never taught in Terna Engineering College! Haven't even heard the name :)

    Steve:

    I thought you already followed me. Second time, now :) Now I know that you are innocent: Of blogger games and google engine! Lol. Grinn.

    Missed many of your comments here.

    Joy and more joy always :)

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  39. awareness/wisdom gained through education or otherwise certainly leads to loss of innocence but only for the good I believe...
    :)
    (p.s.- The day before,Susan, I was watching this movie called 'the boy in the striped pyjamas' ( have you seen it??). It is a poignant depiction of how an eight year boy had to suffer grave consequences on account of his innocence...

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  40. Ruchi:

    I haven't watched the film but have heard about it. Let me get hold of it sometime :)
    Hmmm. Some innocence lost while gaining knowledge is passable but not completely.
    Joy always :)

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  41. satisfaction is nowhere around.... just keep moving and gathering all that you can.
    How long can u remain a kid.... or ignorant.... I too used to think a lot about this-"Why we grow up?" But now it seems stupid. I can't expect to always remain a child... Better to know the truth and live the life of a child in the present..... :)

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  42. "Better to know the truth and live the life of a child in the present" is a wiser way of seeing things.

    Hope your weekend is coming along well :)

    Joy always.

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