The sad man was not too pleased with his undergraduate college experience. He was not about to give up though. And then things took a strange turn.
“That is the way my whole college experience went. ‘Stick to the assignment.’ or ‘There will be time for creativity in your senior year.’ and ‘You have a promising background for graduate work; but learn the basic material.’ plus ‘Your masters’ thesis should surround the research area that you have studied under me.’ finally ‘You will have plenty of time to select an original thesis for your doctoral work.’”
“Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Masters, Doctoral – – – it continued on with no opportunity to find my original thought. It was surely a lost cause. Finally, after I had received my hood and doctorate, I realized that I had lost all my creativity. I knew that I would never find my lost thought in a collegiate atmosphere.”
“It was the end of the depression. World War 2 was in full swing. I not only lost my thought, I also lost my college deferment from the selective service draft board. I was inducted into the Army, spent a few months in boot camp and ended up in the First Army Headquarters based on Governors Island outside of New York City.”
“If I thought there was no room for original thought in college then there was absolutely no hope for it in the U. S. Army. There I sat, hour after hour, sorting through induction orders trying to place a wide range of people into very specific jobs.”
“Talk about putting square pegs into round holes. There was not enough time to give any thought to where Johnny would be most productive. ‘Just put him somewhere’ my commanding officer said. ‘Just shuffle them around until they fall into any available slot’ he admonished. I felt so guilty about the whole thing that I needed to visit the chaplain’s office several times each month.”
The drizzle started up again and the sad man stopped his story to check the cloud pattern in the sky. We lit up another smoke.
Then he continued;