Friday, October 7, 2016

What is your quest?

I take attendance by having the students answer a question. This one pairs nicely with the previous question "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

What is your quest?

Not the college-polished liberal arts answers I expected:

  • i'm still waiting for the call to action tbh
  • still figuring that out
  • I don't know

Short-term thinkers and those with pretty feasible goals:
  • sleep
  • eat 2015's chocolate award winners
  • not puke after watching a romcom
  • to finish the current problem set
  • to make it through the day
  • over to the left a bit
  • sort things
  • to finally get to October break

Long-term and big picture thinkers:
  • to find a nice farm to settle down in
  • to find the meaning of my one and only life
  • to sell vacuum cleaners in n cities, driving as few miles as possible
  • find my quest
  • to make myself and others happy
  • to be the best there ever was
  • seek ultimate fun in life
  • join moon
  • to get vim commands to work in google docs

I'm not sure that "join moon" should be interpreted literally. Maybe it's a cult thing?

There were some context-free superlatives:

  • be the best
  • to be the very best
  • to be the best there ever was
This last one, it turns out, was a frequent verbatim response, sometimes extending for several more lines. I had to do an internet search to find my missing cultural context, because I am an old person and not hip or cool.

The obvious answers (I can hear it, with accent and cadence, in my head):
  • to find the Holy Grail
  • I don't know thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-----
    [ed. note: the line trailed off and upwards into the margin]
The "playing for brownie points" award goes to my favorite: "to reach node v of graph G".

This post's theme word is manumit, "to free from slavery." A valuable life's work is to maximally manumit.

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