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Standing Up When The Plane Is Landing

veritatemdilexi's picture

 I actually do have a nonfiction story from break that applies to class, especially after today's discussion.  The person sitting next to me on a flight home who attended another institution of higher learning was reading a book entitled: "The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Knowledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals".  This sounds like nonfiction prose at its best, and it had to be engaging because this person did not lift their eyes from the book.  I don't know how I feel about a book such as this-"Daily Cerebral Primer" makes the human brain sound like a car that has to be serviced everyday.  "Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals"!-What does this mean? After you read this book will you some how command all knowledge and be able to recount Marxist theory and the scientific method for building rockets?-I know this is in the book because I peered over to see what I wasn't learning.  This person continued on with their book, I returned to my magazine, The Atlantic, I wonder what the Bedside Baccalaureate would say about persons who read magazines like the Atlantic, for the rest of the flight. As our flight is coming to an end the stewardess come around and politely tell everyone to turn off their ipods, put your tray tables back, you know the drill, you could give it in your sleep.  I, being a very obedient passenger, did all of the instructions and waited for the plane to land.  The feeling of a plane landing is unique, its like getting hit by a baseball, after a baseball hits you for the first time you know exactly how every other baseball in the world is going to feel when it hits you again, the feeling of a plane landing is the same.  The plane I am on is obviously in descent, the trees are becoming larger, and cars do not look like objects that I can pick up anymore.  The plane is maybe 1000 feet off the ground when I get a tap on my shoulder. "Yes" I respond. "Would you mind getting up, I need to put my book in the overhead bin" my quiet neighbor asked. Silence. You are reading a book on rocket theory to impress intellectuals and you do not know that the plane that you are on is landing? -that's what I wanted to say but all I could muster was: "You know were about to land right?"  The passenger looked out the window, did this person think I was lying, and back at me, and then wore a facial expression that was probably more appropriate to me telling her that she had forgotten to put clothes on.  She quickly returned to her book and didn't make contact with me for the rest of the flight.  I am not telling this story to point out how clever I am, I have walked into on coming traffic, been burned when grabbing something glowing red of the stove, I have even been known to make incredible claims such as "You know there are other languages besides French" in an English class of my peers, we all make mistakes we are human.  I feel that today's discussion was not rewarding, we talked about how Sagan contradicted himself, and how he picked easy targets of ridicule for an hour and a half.  Today I feel that we were all the girl on the plane unaware of the impending landing.  The plane, this class, is going to land very soon, we are now in the final descent.  Do we now try to stand up as we are approaching the ground entirely unaware of the world and environment that surrounds us?  I really hope that "Call to Stories" will give us the feeling of landing that this class needs.  






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