The point of this article was to establish how individuals different past experiences and lives can create meaning in various places where others would not think twice about noticing.
I did this by describing in detail the environment in which my partner and were in, and then explaining the significance it had on his life for various reasons that are revealed within the article.
This article relates to the blog theme because it demonstrates how peoples past experiences and stories can teach other individual’s life lessons, which is a form of education. It also relates to the topic because it shows how experiences out-side of school can influence individuals and their lives, however not in the traditional sense.
My partner and I began our walk on a clear Grahamstown afternoon, with a hint of a cold breeze beginning to seep in through the bricked corridors and wrap its way around the edges of the tall white buildings that surrounded the stretch of grass we now found ourselves on. A range of frantic commerce students, attempting to arrive at their tutorials on time, signified the humid day was slowly coming to an end. The interview began as we made our way to what was once the notorious “Kaif”, our shoes echoing off the brick-laced corridor as we slowly ascended the hidden staircase that tunnelled its way underneath the geography department. This transcended into an open area, scattered with students all basking in the mid-afternoon sun, captivated by various conversations or tedious tasks which were no doubt due in the next period.
Commotion was in the air, whilst attempting to focus on the interview, hints of other students’ conversations filtered through all around me. I began by asking where my partner, Chilli Perkes, was from, “Johannesburg”, he responded enthusiastically. We walked along a wide stretch of road separating the two major lecture halls as we made our way towards a busy parking lot filled with students jumping off rusted old busses and second hand cars. This signified the next part of our conversation, he pointed out how even though this “traffic” was busy for the quaint little Grahamstown, it could not be compared to the hustle and bustle of city centre Johannesburg. I noticed how this major contrast had a nostalgic affect upon him as he compared his past home to his present one.
We were now on a stretch of road that held a great deal of meaning to Chilli, I noticed a change in his expression as he suddenly stopped focusing on the people around him but on the surrounding scenery instead. This road was the ‘gap’ he crossed when he left the comfort of his residence to arrive at his lectures. For Chilli it was a metaphor for peace of mind, to give him the chance to think about the day ahead before the intensity of all the, tasks, tuts and lectures began. However, as we walked past the miniature stone walls lined with overhanging greenery that stretched down to touch the gravel pathway, he started to describe how this very road signified the first identifiable part of campus he noticed when he first arrived in Grahamstown. It was where his rustic residence, Jan Smut’s House, was situated with its chipped white paint shaded by twisted trees. This road signified change, not just in its contrasting physical features from his original home in Johannesburg, but from a far deeper perspective. It represented new beginnings and new friendships made at Rhodes. To Chilli this road was both the starting point in which his excitement was heightened before any big event, and the end point to any exciting memory. The tarmac was filled with the chatter of all the students who had ever passed by.
We slowly came to the end of our short but enjoyable walk, and made our way towards the large entrance of his residence framed by a small brick wall, the only purpose of which was to serve as a seat for tired students. We said our goodbyes, and I then continued my walk up to Calata House. This walk both of us had done every day for the last two years, but even so, I discovered the extent of sentimental value it held to Chilli, and in doing so appreciated it even more.