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Real World Illusions
Andrea Fleming '14 Op/Ed Editor
March 7, 2014

To Greer or not to Greer? That is the question that irks many a student here in the Pocumtuck Valley. The answer is usually a noncommittal shrug, a reluctant sigh of assent or, for those overstressed juniors or done-with-it-all seniors, an arrogant “Hell no.”

Not too many month ago, I placed myself in the latter category of seniors—fed up with all things Deerfield, destined for college glory, skeptical of any opportunity for growth in the place from which I had already moved on in my mind.

Photo from The Scroll 1949
Photo from The Scroll 1949

I convinced myself that these were not my days of glory, that the “real world” (a place as tangible as Narnia and as concrete as Hogwarts) was where my life would begin.

A few choice words from Mr. Jacobs quickly dispelled this youthful fantasy: “Deerfield is the real world. The real world is wherever you are.” The Deerfield Bubble is an illusion we have created to convince ourselves that we live in a parallel universe, a mundane alternative realm completely unrelated to the fantastic adventures that await us the second we walk out the proverbial Door.

But the reality is far from this dreamy picture. Though it is by far easier to wait around for life to begin freshmen year of college, we have the intellectual power, the grit and the will to make our Deerfield experience raw, real and eye-opening.

So I’m here to outline a few ways for the average high- strung, exasperated, dispirited DA student to tap into that real-world magic (aside from the most obvious one of reading The Scroll)-

This advice might seem more geared to the underclassmen who still have a few precious years left here, but I think juniors and seniors need it a little bit more.

At some point in your Deerfield career, attend at least one Model UN Conference. Take 72 hours to debate world issues, embrace your inner geekiness and discover that you are probably more capable than most U.S. Congressmen.

Attend a Current Events meeting. This may seem like pushing my own agenda (sorry), but seriously, it’s worth it. Forty- five minutes of random people pondering ethical dilemmas sprinkled in with some Jon Stewart clips.

Go on two debates. Not one, trust me. Your first will be a shambly, tearful disaster. In your second you will discover either your innate skill as a debater or exactly what you need to work on for whatever career path you choose.

Talk to random people here— teachers, students, staff. They will surprise you. A few funny words to break the ice and—BAM—deep conversation/new friend for life.

These are the moments that will define us—the ones outside our comfort zone, away from the dorm of our BFF and the table third from the left in the bubble where you sit at every night, without fail.

Life is way too short to waste worrying about images—being the Deerfield Girl or Boy, always staying polite and unintrusive, never crossing the line or living on the edge.

Don’t wait until some magical sign from the universe tells you that you’re in the “real world”— you’ve been here all along.