“The student as boxer, not fencer. The fencer’s weapon is picked up and put down again. The boxer’s is part of him. All he has to do is clench his fist.”
This is such a great metaphor, easy to understand in its concept and execution. As students, we train with and are in constant possession of knowledge. However, let us keep in mind the simple fact that each person is a student. If we are not students of a standardized, formalized education, then we are all at least students of life. Therefore, one should not go about their life as if they are walking without weapon; keep your experiences and your wisdom always at the ready.
The reality of this hits hard–the moment when you realize that you have nothing to show from X class or Y book. It’s upsetting. How could I, as the most wonderful and amazing person on the face of this planet, not be able to transform auditory or visual information into long-term memory? The ego does not like this.
The positive out this scenario is that I might walk away from the experience with a sense of shame. Because, when shamed, there’s a chance that I might respond with an I’ll-show-them mentality. But, how do I process said shame at this specific moment? What determines this? Do I move on, forget about it, tell myself it was a fluke? I believe that this only works so many times. Instead, perhaps I will actually admit to my failure and ensure that next time I am doubly prepared (please ignore the product of zero multiplied by two…it’s a figure of speech, dammit!)
I digress; the importance of wearing your knowledge on your sleeve is so that we, as a society, can weed out the idiots from the intellects. Or something to that extent.