Tend as I do to gallivant in the realm of overthought, it is easy to adopt an air of philosophization, albethat the process I am actually engaged in is one of actuating a clash between or amongst thoughts that occur at random. Unlike, moreover, the fertile mind that characterizes a true philosopher, that of mine is only seldom home to such thoughts. I leave it to the analytical faculties of readers to determine whether my intellect, such as it is, permits me to be so much as a philosophaster, let alone a philosopher. At any rate, it is not too toilsome to agree on the notion that the titles of my essays are not best reflective of such little substance as does grace my writing.
This self-reflection, however, does not debar the occurrence of new thoughts, and one such occurred to me rather early in the morning. To what cavernous gloom shall I be doomed? I happened to sign up for an internship on the reputed website Internshala about a month ago. I must clarify at the outset that I do not assign blame to the site, excellent as some trainings are for which I had in the past signed up. An internship, however, is doubtless quite different from an Internshala training, which is quite akin to an online course on such sites as Coursera.
I alone am to bear the blame for signing up for that inordinately dismaying internship, which involves too many intricacies with regard to preparing excel sheets, lengthy word documents based on ridiculously long PDFs and suchlike. Long have I been prejudiced against such clerical work, regarding it as being profligate with regard to time. Yet, I was aware of the lugubrious state of affairs with regard to internships. Hundreds of students apply for an internship that has but two or three vacancies. It conveys to me an impression that students thirst for internships, to secure a soupcon of merit for that portentous resumé or curriculum vitae which may well seal their fate. Only, the ones available seem mostly to involve clerical work, and half of them are unpaid. Such thoughts assailed me as well; that accursed desire for an internship prevailed, and I happened to sign up.
And I must now bear the burden of the assigned tasks, bear as did Frodo Baggins the burden of that ensorcelling One Ring of Sauron in the novel The Lord of the Rings. And as he was often enervated in his journey to Orodruin in his quest to cast the ring into the molten abyss whence it came, I am enervated, a month into this internship, in its two-month voyage of utter gloom. The difference, of course, is that I haven’t any physical ardour to bear, while it shall be only deferent of me to not dwell on the ardour of Frodo Baggins, fictional though he is, for words may well not suffice for that purpose.
The difference is also that unlike the necessity of his sailing to the Undying Lands to convalesce from both the physical and psychological scars of his journey, I shall bear neither kind of scar, and there awaits my meek presence no such firmament as the Undying Lands. For a much earthlier remedy besides a reposeful slumber suffices to rid me of that internship-induced enervation: the realm of fantasy and of literature in general. J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium is voluminous enough, but I have also in possession the essays of such august authors as Aldous Huxley, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, Plato’s Republic and many other books to read and cultivate my mind.
That, however, lands me into a quandary. On what shall I subsist? Reading such opuscules may cultivate a mind fine enough to exchange illumined musings, perhaps bestrewn with even more illumined epiphanies, but would not afford me much subsistence. At present, it seems to me likely that I shall pursue a masters degree and subsequently a doctorate to qualify for professorship, or secure employment at a reputed think tank, but the prospects of publishing, say, a novel of potentially decent market appreciation and thus have another source of income are equally alluring.
If there is one lesson that experiences of university have incrementally imparted and those of this odious internship have cemented, it is that I value a relatively liberated and peaceful existence. I subscribe to no misimpressions of flying like a carefree bird, but I must be at leisure to work. Indeed, further education shall be needed to refine critical thinking skills and aptitude at substantive research, and I would be subject to greater constrictions of time. My work must be very productive, unlike the utterly distasteful malarkey that blemishes my internship. At the same time, I must undertake the ardour of writing and attempting to earn through it, for that I truly resonate with writing cannot be gainsaid.
For all my fervid endorsement of capitalism, I utterly despise the clerical work that is its inevitable appurtenance. But capitalism alone could be trusted to make work easier, for competition would induce companies to retain talent and provide its employees with perquisites. Whether the corporate world mitigates this odious aspect immanent to it, of the disillusionment with which I have read much online, remains to be seen.
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