An ode to the Academy

I'm angry
I'm angry I feel captured 
I'm angry I feel fractured 
I'm angry
I'm angry
I'm fragile

My nerves exposed 
I myself exhausted 
Numbed down 
Burned out
22 years of school have completely worn me out

And now I have PTSD, only the slightest notion of 'have to' and I OD 
Just from sitting in class
Like a good lass
While I suffer the crime
Of the fragmented time that chimes away my creativity
My authenticy, forced again and again to forge itself to another's will 
I will not more

I can't keep pretending with the little I've left for defending 
I resist
I give up

I know it's time to untether my creativity again 
Getting back together the sense of me again 
But how do I know which story I want to write
.. when always one is being dictated to me?
.. when always one is being constructed for me?

I've been conducted
to make myself smaller
Easier to endure
Jamina, please keep quiet, came from all directions 
No, not like that, not like that, ONLY like that 
Jamina please be smaller
Jamina please be smaller
Easier to handle, easier to mold
No, not like that, not like that, ONLY like that

All of my energy canalised to the requirements of the academy, to only that which they inquire
But the greater the energy you try to cram through a small passage way, the greater the explosion 
And this is my explosion

And not a single institutionalised environment helps me learning 
To deal with this volcano that is churning
Without wanting or controlling its constant overflowing

Afraid of creativity that paves its own way 
Afraid of authenticity that has its own say
So afraid


And I am too
I'm holding in too
Fuck I numb myself too
It's true, I often have no clue what to do with what is new

And it's my job to learn how to deal with that, but I hoped for just a little more outside help

I have accepted that won't come
Society has not yet managed to learn
To positively stimulate my greatest yearn 
And that's forgiven

I also just have to start living 
Learn to work with what is given 
Allow myself to give in

But if you'd still like to offer a helping hand to mine 
There's only one thing to which I incline
And that is time

For a fragile mind
That most of all just wants to find 
The freedom she has been declined

© Jamina Inanna Lasseel

After her studies in Amsterdam, Jamina swore she never wanted anything to do with academia again. But that turned out differently. Jamina performed this poem during the Open Mic during Pilar ASAP - Order to Disorder Edition on Wednesday October 19th.

Thanks to SpeakEasy Brussels and Bib Sans Souci for organizing this evening.

Jamina on IG

Written by Jamina Inanna Lasseel

Jamina is a master's student in Philosophy at the VUB, but she prefers to express her personal viewpoint through spoken word. Image and video material can be found on Instagram under @jamina_inanna.

25 October 2022
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