The Age-Old Debate Between Order and Chaos
We battle every day, some mysterious person or group of people and us. I don’t know who they are, but every day I walk into this classroom and the desks are straightened into perfect rows, a narrow strip of room at the front at the front of the classroom, various tables and TV stands straightened and arranged neatly there, at the front.
This can never do for a playwriting class that has need of a stage on which to present our work. It also begs for a scattered, chaotic sea of mangled desks and a large room in front, this class of mine with lofty ideas and art forms perfected through harrowing discussion. We each take turns reading our creations in the space we create every day, transforming the room into an Indian teepee, a mass of grey apocolyptic chaos, a high school highway, a citified Polynesian hallway, a dingy diner, an anonymous living room. The mood of this class demands a gathering of desks that provides a single semicircle of desks for such a small class. It requires the professor help us in that creation as well; he moves the TV stand, the table, the piano to make room for a stage.
Today, I walked in and saw those rows, and I groaned. Then, I decided not to destroy some unknown entity’s hard work, so I plopped my stuff in a desk located in the approximate area of where I normally sit in the room, and sat down against the bare wall on the floor with a book. I am normally the first in the room and the first to break the layer of that precious peice of work, to plunge into destruction with a grumble against someone who wants uniformity and doesn’t enjoy a casual learning environment. I decided not to take that role today. I chose not to.
The room still got destroyed, but I felt a small pride in knowing that today, I did not start it. I watched everyone else in the class walk in and view the desks in their order; one by one they chose to pick a seat in the order instead of creating chaos. Eventually, someone sat down in the order, decided they didn’t like it, and became the catalyst for that destruction process all over again. However, today, the person/people who re-enter that battle of the desks will not grumble against me for starting it.