Syllabi for life

Imagine if someone handed you a calendar to follow for the next 15 weeks, noting days when you will be especially busy so you could plan ahead, suggesting reading and inviting you to come to them for help if you needed it. Imagine you thought of a question and the calendar was in a document that also answered questions because for years and years, since more than a decade before you cared about such things, others asked the same questions you have now.

With such a guide, an organized person could sleep at night. She could schedule days and nights packed full of tasks, make lists, check items off, know where to go and when to be there and what to bring and read before she went.

Imagine the author of the document containing the magic calendar put such care into crafting it because her goal was to help brave yet nervous humans achieve something very hard to do. And she knew a way through the coming storm to the other side. She shared tips and paths and encouragement. All for you.

Suppose you did not read the document with the magic calendar and the answers to all your questions before you thought of them. Suppose every time you had a question you shot off an email in the form of a text in sentence fragments with no punctuation or signature. Suppose two hundred other holders of the most helpful document did the same. Day after day. They waited for responses to their questions while they held the answers in their hands. They complained about the delay, the awful wait time, the indignity, the disrespect of being forced to sit without the answer. All while they had the answer.

If someone offered me a syllabus with a calendar of my immediate future, I’d bake them cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. After I read every word. And made some lists. And marked up my calendar.

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