I work in an ivory tower, but I’m kind of like the door man there, not the sage- or the king, or a princess. But I’m okay with this. Well… I’m mostly okay with it.
You see the problem with staying in ivory towers is that you can get lost and isolated up in the clouds. Clouds aren’t quite the same as the ground. On the ground, a person can just sort of stand there, naturally. Clouds are immaterial, and for a human to be there requires some sort of extra construction or apparatus to hold them up.
Its good to work at the door of the tower because you can walk around and remember what dirt feels like and how plants grow. From up above trees look small and while you might be able to see over walls, it gets easy to forget how hard it is to climb either one.
But if you spend all of your time in the weeds you never get to see more than a few feet. It can be hard to come up with new ideas, or to even really see what is going on, with limited vision.
So with my role in the tower, standing on the ground floor showing people the door, I get a little bit of both the up and the down. I head upstairs and see what they are doing up there, then I go back outside and try to tell people about it. Its good work.
Truth be told I would probably enjoy more time in the books. I like the stuff in books and I like the view. But in my mind the stuff in and up there are pointless unless it does something down and out there, and I have been out there enough to know that the gap between in and up and down and out is huge.I hear and read a lot of things about the environment in college, but few of those opinions or descriptions are coming from people who work in college. Or are currently attending college. Sometimes it comes from people who remember college. People in the weeds are talking about the tower.
Then I talk to, or read the work of, people in the tower, and to them the people in the weeds are a “them.” A them is very different than a we. Making the we bigger than it is now is a big deal to me.
The best thing for we requires both the tower and the weeds.
So I’ll stick with my job.
One thought on “Coit Tower: what I imagine an actual ivory tower would look like”
This is a great post. There are so many ways that life can apply to the ivory tower on this one! Everything can be summed up into an us-versus-them mentality without regard to who is being in the tower or on the ground during a comparison. I believe we all have tower experiences no matter our station in life or other demographic. Good on you for this one. Me Likey!