In the realms of Carleton College, where we pride ourselves upon knowledge and intellect, our game of Where’s Waldo becomes Where’s Schiller. As we search for the bust of Schiller – the German philosopher, poet, and a bunch other careers that Wikipedia told me about- we find out new things about ourselves.
After seeing him appear on The Colbert Report, Desperate Housewives, and in the warm, gentle hands of President Clinton, we couldn’t help but envy the places he had been to and the places he will one day go. In our wishful hopes and dreams, we aspire not to be forgotten and fade away with the passing of time, but leave a legacy so grand that our OneCard mugshots will be cast into 3D marble replicas for the world to marvel at and revere. Sometimes, in the dead of the night, we crave for an answer to the truths about the universe – we ask our sleep-deprived brains, “Is the bust of Schiller having more fun than I am? Where is it, really? Will Bill Clinton ever hold me on live TV?”
As we spend countless hours and months searching for the bust of Schiller, shedding no little sweat and tears, little did we realize we’ve known where he was this whole time. Enlightened Schiller fans have already realized it: Schiller is a metaphor. Schiller is more than just a bust that hasn’t made a decent appearance in a year, he is a symbol of our time, a light unto our generation to always keep searching, even if that search is futile because the answer we seek is probably locked up in a storage unit for fear of losing the glory the keepers are so vainly trying to hold onto.
Our search for Schiller symbolizes our eternal search for knowledge and intellectualism amid the brevity of our Carleton career and our mortal lives. And in this search, we found more than just the knowledge; we found our life passions in the majors we decide to do our comps on, we found life long friendships that we can depend on, we found the courage and determination we never thought we had to pull through 5th and 10th week, and we found a treasure of life lessons. While we search for Schiller, we learn that it was never really about the actual bust, it was about the journey.