A Professor's Wisdom
"Hello, class, and welcome to Neophilosophy 100: Introduction to Neopian Philosophical Thought. Please make sure you are in the correct place."
Sarana was ecstatic. This was the class she was looking forward to the most in her beginning year at Brightvale University. Every Neopian knew of the great wisdom of King Hagan, a celebrated philosophical man who studied the great philosophers of Neopian History. She wanted to be in his presence, pick his brain about everything he knew, and this class was the beginning. She had planned her entire schedule meticulously around this single lecture class that Professor Hagan would be giving. The day of class sign-ups, she was over two hours early just to ensure she would get in to his class.
The joy and excitement she felt bubbled through her. She felt her stomach turn with glee but she only let a slight smirk sneak on to her face. She did not want to seem too eager to everyone else in the class.
To her complete surprise, though, it was a Shoyru that had started speaking.
"I will begin by passing around the class syllabus. Please read over the topics we will be covering. I would like to begin by pointing out you have a short 250 word essay due in one week's time. It would be in your best interest to start it immediately, as how well you do on this first assignment will speak greatly towards your ability to excel in this course."
Sarana flipped through the paper she was handed to find her prompt.
'According to ancient thought, wisdom is described as knowing what is right and what is wrong, and acting accordingly. Considering your teachings of the first week of class, describe your personal definition of wisdom, and outline a plan to help you seek the wisdom you do not have.'
Sarana was overwhelmed by this essay. This was the reason she came to Brightvale University, to learn to better herself through the wisdom of her professors! Yet here she was, expected to come up with her own answer to this question by next week! She could not believe this was only the first assignment on the first day. Maybe this was going to be more difficult than she expected.
The Shoyru continued, "My name is Professor Marzel, and I will be the primary lecturer for this course."
Sarana could not help but let her jaw drop. Her hand shot up. "Excuse me, but I thought Professor Hagan was teaching this course?" she said, barely able to hide her disdain.
"Professor Hagan is the main professor of this course, yes, but I will be the one teaching class on a regular basis. He will stop by when he has time, but do not be concerned: everything I am teaching is coming directly from him. Now please, do not interrupt as we have a lot of material to get through this week. Everyone, lets open our books to page 12 and read an essay from the great Neopian philosopher-....."
Sarana was in a state of shock. She could not listen to anything more Professor Marzel had to say after this huge bombshell he dropped. Professor Hagan would not even be coming to class today, and he probably wouldn't next week, or the week after! How was she supposed to learn all of the wisdom he had if she would not even be in the same room as him! She started feeling defeated and cheated by this course and by Brightvale University in general. Why would they advertise classes taught by the famed King Hagan if he doesn't actually teach them? Better yet, how could she have fallen for this trick?
She sat, lost in thought, as the remaining time in class ticked by. After about an hour, she was brought back to reality when she realized there was a ruckus around her. Her fellow classmates were all putting their things away and beginning to leave the lecture hall. She stood up and an idea came to her. Her feet seemed to know exactly where to take her even though this was her first time in the Neophilosophy Building. Quicker than expected she was out of the room, up the flight of stairs, and walking down a hallway with offices on either side of her.
Straight ahead of her was a closed, wooden door. Directly at her eye level was a name placard: Hagan. She reached for the handle and her hand shook a bit. She did not know exactly what she wanted to say, but she knew she had something to say.
The door opened and there was Professor Hagan sitting at his desk, reading what appeared to be a very old, tattered piece of parchment. "Excuse me, my office hours are not for two more hours, come back then. And when you do, please knock before entering."
"I thought you were going to be teaching my class. I was so excited to have you as a professor and then you weren't even there. How am I supposed to learn your wisdom if you don't teach me?" She exhaled sharply as she had not realized she spoke everything in one breath. Slowly Professor Hagan put down his parchment, keeping eye contact with Sarana the entire time. After what felt like an eternity to her, Hagan motion to the chair across from him, "Please, sit down."
Sarana made her way to the chair and slowly lowered herself into it. All of a sudden a wave of embarrassment washed over her. She felt her face turn a bright shade of red. She just embarrassed herself in front the famous Professor Hagan! How could she ever live this down?
"I am sorry."
She looked up. Had King Hagan just apologized to her?
"I can see that you are very excited about your education, and for that I am grateful. I know that you will be able to put yourself to whatever you must do to succeed here at Brightvale University. I am not worried about you. What I am worried about, though, is why you fear learning from anyone but me?"
"I... I'm not... fear? I'm not afraid of learning. I love learning! I am so excited to be here and learn everything I can!" Sarana stammered. She found it difficult to string a full thought together which was not making this any easier. Why would he think that? She was not afraid of anything, except maybe Spyders. Why would he make this assumption about her?
"Again, I am sorry I could not be at class today. I promise you that I will be in your class as often as possible, but my upper level classes have my priority for now because I know I can count on Professor Marzel. He is an incredibly intelligent scholar, maybe even smarter than me. You should give him a chance. Everyone here at the University is here because they love teaching, and they have something to teach. You are here because you want to learn. Do not stop yourself from learning because it might not be from who you want or because it may not be what you want to learn."
Sarana was in shock. The amount of knowledge and intelligence this man possessed astounded her. She felt as though she just had a free lesson with him. She was not completely sure she understood, but she felt better. "Wow. Okay, well. Thank you for that wisdom, sir. I am sorry I barged in to your office without asking. I am sorry, too, for not believing in Professor Marzel. I am very excited for you to lecture though. I am going to go, but thank you." She stood up and turned to leave.
"Yes miss, before you go, what was your name?" Professor Hagan asked.
"My name is Sarana, sir."
"Well, Sarana, I look forward to reading your essay next week."
Professor Hagan was seated at his desk with a stack of papers in front of him. He grabbed his red pen and settled in for a long afternoon of grading. On top of the pile was the essay he was looking forward to the most. He began reading.
'Sarana's Personal Neophilosophy
What is wisdom? I set out upon my journey at Brightvale University to answer that very question for myself. Unfortunately, I was very narrow-minded in the type of wisdom I sought. I was only interested in learning from whom I naively considered the wisest. In seeking the answers to the question of which I considered the most important, I was blinded to the world around me. I was blinded to the help which I was offered, and therefore almost missed out on the knowledge of those around me. This is where my personal definition of wisdom comes from. Wisdom is the ability to look past your own thoughts and experience the world around you. Wisdom comes from being open to learning from anyone and anything around you, because you never know what will affect you. Only searching to answer your own questions will leave your knowledge on everything else empty. You must be open to insight into topics you did not think you would ever know. To implement my new wisdom while here at Brightvale University, I will listen to everything everyone around me has to say. I will never discount professors, friends, or acquaintances because I do not believe they have the answers to my questions. I will listen with open ears and an open heart so they can teach me things I did not know I needed to learn. My personal wisdom is the ability to learn from anything and anyone, as you never know what they will be able to teach you.'
Professor Hagan smiled. "I knew she was smart," he said, as he wrote a giant red A on the top of her paper.