Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Diplomas

I collect diplomas. I say I do not collect anything but I do collect education and consequenly, I collect diplomas.

I have a binder with everything since my first swim test.

About ten years ago I was helping a friend to clear out his mother's house and his childhood home. We came across all of his swimming certificates from his late teens and twenties. He looked at his beer belly and said that it was a long time ago and that he would never need them and that it was almost painful to look at them, remembering who he had once been. Elite swimmer and professional life guard. Then not so much remained.

Diplomas are souvenirs of who we once where and what we once accomplished. When I had collected my diploma for my masters degree, I was almost hit by a car walking home. No matter what had happened, no matter how bashed up my brain would have been, I had accomplished a masters degree and that I could identify myself with for the rest of my life. I remember feeling very calm as my life passed in front of me as the accident occurred. Now I will be given another piece of paper, worthless in itself but a target has been ticked off anyway.

My friend? Less than two years later, he was again working as a swimming instructor and life guard. That handful of papers got him the interview and his personality and personal strength got him the job. Beer belly still there but for the place and the clients it was completely appropriate. Hundreds and hundreds of children and adults felt safe with him and learned how to swim - just because he was who he was and has his experiences, and possibly also because of the belly.

Me? No, no my diplomas never gave me any satisfaction like that. But I like to have them and they are a part of my lifeline.
They are my life collection.

5 comments:

  1. I like studying. I sometimes make up my own study projects.

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    1. I indeed like you more and more! We are scarily similar. What's your current topic?

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    2. Joze Plecnik, Architect. Finished and turned into more of a study of Ljubljana and Prague. I visited Prague and traced some of his buildings but not so many as I wanted because I was travelling with someone.

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  2. Nice, thanks for pointer! I have been into architechture lately too, special love for houses by Gerrit Rietveld.

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    1. I will check out this architect too.

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