The sad man was at the point in his story where he was not so sad any longer. He had mastered reading and writing. His mentors, the librarian and a local teacher, had helped him get a scholarship and he was accepted into a good college.
He continued telling me his story.
“The money I had saved from my street lectures was put to good use for books. The teacher’s and librarian’s recommendations plus the financial aid had made me eligible for grants and stipends. I was a lucky fellow. Even my dorm room and meal plan was paid for.”
“I had developed quite a nice background on how life worked but my reading and math skills needed a little help. I was assigned to some remedial classes for the first semester. The second semester was filled with a full line of three and four credit courses.”
“I read everything and completed all the exercises assigned to me. My professors seemed to be pleased with my progress.”
“My only problem was that deep down inside me I had hoped to generate an inspiration. If that inspiration was deep enough I might be able to remember my lost thought. This was always in the back of my mind. “
“I let my inspiration go wild and included my own self into my papers. This did not work out very well. Several professors told me that I needed to concentrate on writing my papers strictly to the subject material and in a specific format.”
“I thought that I was doing that and did not understand what they were looking for.”
“One evening when I had finished doing the reading assignment I was struck with a feeling of creativity. It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on – – – or – – – bring an original thought to. It was simply a strong feeling that I was on the edge of something big.”
“I sat down and started writing the paper that was to complement the reading assignment. The words flowed like the fast water in my favorite trout stream. Nothing could stop the words.”
“When I was finished I sat back and re-read the paper to see if my original thought was hidden somewhere inside all those words. If it was, I couldn’t find it. Maybe the professor will find it and draw a big circle around it with his words ‘Nice original creative thought.’”
“When I received the paper back all that was written on it was;
‘Don’t get too creative with the subject material. Learn the basic subject first and then you can get a little original. Use MLA!’”
The thought of what had happened apparently did not make the sad man very happy; he had a scowl on his face.