I received a letter in the mail today. Now, being a college student, I naturally freaked out. When you get 578,214 e-mails a day, getting a real letter is like the postal version of Christmas.
The letter turned out to be from one of my favorite high school teachers. He retired last year and I started college. But as much as things have changed in each of our lives, some things will always be the same. He managed to correct a mistake on one of my creative writing essays (props to whoever can find it!). And I just learned that my political science midterm will be in the exact same format as my high school teacher's exams!
After reading the letter, I stopped. Stopped writing my literary analysis. Stopped worrying about all of the studying I had to get done before my midterms. Stopped the Spotify playlist blasting in the background.
Where did my life go? Just three years ago, I was a high school sophomore sweating about my Industrial Revolution ID's and deciphering Julius Caesar. And here I am, sitting in a dorm room. In college. But I remember that class like it was yesterday. I remember walking in on that first day of his class and seeing a gigantic sign that printed, "I Don't Kid." (And he didn't.) I remember writing a paper for his class, him proofreading it, and telling me to re-write the whole thing because my argument sounded like I was leaning the other way. I remember sitting in my desk, realizing every day how little I knew about the world. I remember the last day of class when I nervously asked him to sign my yearbook.
I still can quote his message from memory: "The enemy of progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
It's taken me a couple of years, but I think I have finally deciphered this quote. It has the same meaning as my epiphany I encountered every day. The day I think I know everything is the day I stop learning.
So thank you, Mr. Guth. I learned a lot of history. But most importantly, I learned to never stop learning.