Sunday, August 29, 2004

escape the machine

In the UK, as I'm sure is the case in many other countries, students are made to feel like they are on an unstoppable from early adolescence to a nine to five job, via the route of exams and university. This incessant graduate production line is very dangerous, in my opinion. We are making our choices in education while ever mindful of the knock-on effect our choices have on our careers. With such constant attention paid to the future, we are in danger of losing the joy of learning for learning's sake alone.

It is becoming an increasing trend however for people to want to escape from this treadmill. The huge increase in people who take gap years before or after university has increased massively, as has the number of people who find themselves walking out of well-paid jobs in their twenties and thirties to experience life outside the office. Of course, a high-profile example of this has come recently from the former Archbishop of York, David Hope, who left his post as the second most important man in the Church of England to return to the life of a parish priest.

I'm not sure Jesus would have been too thrilled at the notion of planning your entire life out from the age of 16 onwards. In fact, I recently had to complete a form which asked me for my life ambition. I simply wrote "please see Matthew 6:34". It is also the idea that some people give up their dreams because of job security. I am determined not to fall into the treadmill trap. This week I decided to give myself a headstart, and I have cut down my hours at work to rehearse for a play with some friends. Sure that'll mean I'll have less cash for Fresher's Week at uni, but then this is an important lesson in doing what you love vs. doing what makes you money. We're performing The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (of A Streetcar Named Desire fame). Heck, I figure if I can't quit my job to become an artist now then I definately won't have the guts to do it in the future...

Oh, and the site has a bit of a new look. I thought the dark blue was a little difficult to read, and was probably hurting the eyes of my readers!


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