"I keep seeing your jacket and thinking, this looks awesome!"
How did he react?
He laughed and said, "Thank you! This is the only piece of clothing that I keep receiving compliments on. It's funny!"
How did I feel?
I have written about the size of my school before. Transfering to Free University makes you feel lost: Between lectures the hallways are as crowded as downtown San Francisco during rush hour. 35 000 students hurry scurrying from room to room. Yesterday a friend said, "If I were to make the rules here I would put up signs. Traffic regulations would apply in the school's inside. Think about it: That'd thwart so many accidents!"
In three months I have met one of my fellow students outside of class. One. The other hundred disappear in the masses.
But there is someone else I have seen at least four times. A man. Spotting him has become my hallway ritual: Among countless stranger's faces there is one thing that keeps reappearing. It is his jacket. I keep recognizing the print on its back. USA Olympic team of 1988. I dig that look. The guy has been making me smile. And wonder: Who is the person behind the jacket? A sports freak? An eighties fashion lover? A patriotic American?
Yesterday I found out. Running after him I complimented him for the aesthetic pleasure on his back. He laughed, and told me this jacket was the one piece of clothing he had been receiving countless compliments for. And that he was German. Though I really wanted to find out about his relationship to the US 1988 Olympic team I ended up not asking him. Why? Because he got me focused on something else: Our chat about mathematicians in philosophical seminars. Elias, that's his name, works in the math department. I study Philosophy. I told him I dig being checkmated by math majors in philosophical discussions because they make me grow: Mathematicians are every philosophy student's final enemy. If you can kill their argumentation you know have got a point. Surprisingly he sided with those fellow students of mine who roll their eyes and moan when a math major enters a philosophical class, and said, "Yeah, but I think it sucks to take on some extremist position just for the sake of destroying your opponent's argumentation. What's that in aid of? I think that kind of math major behavior is plain annoying."
I looked at him. What a wise man he was! We said goodbye and I walked off contemplating on interdisciplinary research. Hand in hand science: I know I want to go there. Personally I can't wait to contribute to the love affair of Philosophy and Psychology! Now I know there is at least one person in the math department who has a pacifist view on discussion. If there is a good start for transcending disciplines it has got to be pacifism. Being conscious of why you are saying what you are saying, as in what your motives really are, is something I crave in Academia. Cutting dogma, pride and status is hard, yet worth it. Fights can be cool- as long as they lead to uplift. So Elias, better late than never. Here comes my answer. Yeah, you are right.
Theorizing and leading fruitful discussions, plus a great taste in fashion- Elias seemed like an amazing dude. I can't wait to recognize him again between lectures!