[ANONYMOUS]: „High School (College) of Transformation“
High School (College) of Transformation
Something that is always full of surprises and excitement is the language of children and those without masks. Those who, even at the height of their playfulness, reveal their true selves before your very eyes when playing a role. Children who have brought this truth into adolescence and now into their youth. It will be seen unconsciously in the classroom and in the street, where friends and playmates of the same age are together. An unconsciousness that is the peak of everybody’s consciousness.
I had a passionate, fearless, and curious student. A student who wouldn’t sit still. At times I would try to calm them down, and at other times, I would do it by talking to them. At the heart of these conversations, the class would come alive. Pretty much the whole class enjoyed these interactions. A conversation that went slowly. One would turn around, surprised at what another classmate was saying, and gradually felt comfortable enough to express innermost thoughts. Words that led to amazement, fearlessness, and more ideas. Words without a mask. Words of the heart that had never been on display before. It was clear from the fluidity of their words and the pain in their hearts that they had often been talking to themselves in solitude.
One day this same restless and playful student looked withdrawn and exhausted. They were sitting on the bench, their face stretched out between their arms on the table. It was as if they were sleeping. I called them, and they sat up straight, but their face was puffy and dazed. I asked them if they wanted to go and wash their face, and they did. But they were still unhappy. After class, I asked them what had happened. This was because they had not answered the question a number of times during class. The student said they had a family argument. A family worried about their child’s unveiled opinions. This worry takes on a different color – they are afraid. A color that this time worries the teenager. A child who is unmasked and honest, the supplicant of his innocent peers, of a violent and deceitful society that can only be met by screaming. Now they see their family veiled and masked. Or, at the very least, their great fear of having to remove these veils that they have been living with for years in a society with beliefs that have caused a great deal of blood to be shed on the face of the earth.
The teenager will not support their family. They will see themselves among their unmasked friends and peers who do not hide themselves, better and bigger and smiling. Then they will continue on this path with more passion, fearlessness, and curiosity, for they value friendship more than enmity and truth more than lies and hypocrisy. He knows for he reads from the certificates, that among those who sow enmity, animosity and lies will grow, and that they will sink. It will overflow. It’s bound to flood in a way that can no longer be contained.
The teenagers I saw in the classrooms have begun to be transformed. In their families, by choosing their own beliefs with their own wisdom and judgment. Not by force. A dancing thought that does not want enmity between its own kind and its own kind, that does not want war. They are the ones who will reveal the masked ones.
[*Note from Translator: The original essay was written in Persian/Farsi, and as Farsi doesn’t have institutionalized gender in its language structure, the pronouns of the student mentioned in the text are translated to “they/them,” which is also the way one would say it in Farsi/Persian anyhow.]