Education, for the most part, was painful, dull, a prison — sitting at a desk surrounded by four walls with no windows. I can think of only a handful of teachers that made education interesting from elementary through high school. It wasn’t until I entered the gates of Berkeley that the university’s motto “Fiat Lux” kindled a passion inside me for knowledge. And it wasn’t just a passion for knowledge, but a passion to learn how to write and think…for myself. It was this challenge that led me to major in Rhetoric — a very difficult and challenging liberal arts program that focused on ancient classical literature and persuasive writing.
This period in my life was truly beautiful…”Mens sana in corpore sano”. In the morning and early afternoon I would attend class. In the late afternoon I would spend hours on the green field playing baseball. In the evening I would go on campus to one of the beautiful large libraries to study. Ah, the libraries on this campus were truly divine — the musty smell of the past…the quiet echoes…the purposeful architecture and decor…a place…a temple…constructed so those within could appreciate and worship knowledge. This beautiful place was built to pay homage to great minds from the past that cared enough to speak in hopes we will be supple enough to listen.
It was in the depths of library halls or basking in the dreamy sunlight on some grassy campus knoll that my passion for knowledge began to over-shadow my passion for baseball. Over-time, ironically, it was the baseball field that began to feel like prison — mechanical, repetition, compulsory, a burden. I was no longer interested in devoting so much time and energy to a game with defined rules. I didn’t want to become a full-grown man still playing a child’s game. The world was so much bigger and wider and freer than the walls of a baseball field. And so I let go a big piece of who I was. Feeling alive and free was now more about thought, contemplation, observation, and exploration — it was about noticing the light.