Vignettes — #19

Miguel & Ricardo

Daan Spijer

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© Daan Spijer

Miguel takes the letter he has just opened to where his father Ricardo is sitting at his desk. Ricardo looks up. Miguel hands him the letter and Ricardo reads it.

“That’s good news. Now you have three to choose from,” Ricardo says.

“But that’s the problem. Dad. How do I choose? They’re all so different and two of them are interstate. I don’t want to get this wrong.”

“You won’t get it wrong. Wherever you end up, you’ll make it where you want to be.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ll find that you may think you choose with your amazing intellect, but most of the time you won’t be choosing with your head but with your gut.”

“That makes no sense. I need to work out which has the best philosophy department.”

“No, you don’t need to do that and you probably couldn’t. You would have to read papers written by past students and their professors and probably some of the books written by those professors.”

Miguel flaps the letter in the air. “So, how can I choose which offer to accept?”

“You look more broadly. What does the campus look like? Is there lots of open space to sit in the fresh air and think? Is the campus close to cafés where you can argue with your fellow students? What is the public transport like? Is there affordable accommodation on the campus or nearby?”

“But none of that has anything to do with philosophy.”

“That’s my point. Choose the right university for all those other reasons and from what your gut tells you, and the learning of philosophy will happen so much more easily. You may also find after a while that you don’t want to study philosophy and then being in a ‘good’ place is even more important. Get online and research those things. And, also, see what extra-curricular activities are available. They’ll make your life more interesting and your study easier.”

“If I go to Adelaide or Griffith, I’ll be miles away from you and Mum and Maria.”

Ricardo laughs. “That could be good for all of us. And who knows, you could pave the way for your sister to join you in two years’ time.”

[Vignettes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18]

[to be continued on 25 October with ‘Moses’]

[Daan Spijer asserts the moral right to be acknowledged as the author of this story]

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Daan Spijer

Lawyer, mediator, award-winning writer and photographer, living with his wife Sally in Mt Eliza, (south of Melbourne) Australia