A few years ago, as part of his Year Twelve Graduation Speech, my dad read “There’s A Monster At The End Of The Book”, which, in case you’re not aware, is a children’s book written from the perspective of Grover from Sesame Street.
For some reason I began to think of this speech today and it made me realise that there is a monster at the end of this book, but by book, I actually mean Schooling Career.
You see, at the start of our senior years, we’re all like Grover here on the cover, happy and smiling and saying hello to everyone. And then we turn the page and we realise that people have begun talking about Monsters and golly gosh, we’re all scared of Monsters.
On page two, Grover begins begging us, as the readers, not to turn the page. If we don’t turn the page, he reasons, we will never get to the end of the book and therefore will never have to face the monster he is so scared of. Whilst there are no pages in our schooling career, there are periods and days and weeks and terms, and every day teachers are reminding us of exams and assessment tasks and we silently beg someone, anyone, to slow time down because the Monster is slowly creeping up on us. We are scared of this monster and time is our equivalent of page turning so we just want it to stop before we get to the end of the ‘book’.
We turn the page. Grover is not happy. He tells us he has now tied the pages together. We can not possibly turn the page now. He is safe from the monster. This is like when we put off assessment tasks and study and believe we are safe from the Monster. Out of sight, out of mind, we say. But then Grover finds himself on the next page and screams, “What are you doing to me?! Stop turning pages!!!!”, which is like when we wake up and suddenly the Due Date is tomorrow and we still haven’t started that essay. Doing the essay makes the Monster real. We are so scared of the Monster.
Grover boards up the pages.
We turn the page.
He tells us that we’re not only getting us closer to the monster but we’re also creating a mess. Every time we put off studying or leave an assignment to the last minute we are creating a massive mess for ourselves that we end up having to clean up. And still the monster looms.
Grover builds a brick wall.
Apparently we are very strong. And are left with another mess to clean up.
All this time we have spent turning pages, despite Grover’s pleading, have lead us to the end of the book. We have only succeeding in creating a mess for ourselves and we are so scared. We do not want to turn the page. Please, Grover begs us, do not turn the page. If we turn the page we will have to face the Monster. We are not ready to face the Monster. Please don’t make us face the Monster.
But then we turn the page and are left staring at…Grover. He laughs and tells us we had nothing to be scared of. We spent the whole book, or you know, our whole schooling career being petrified and trying to prevent pages being turned and doing everything we could to make sure we didn’t have to face the Monster. But we have to in the end. And after all that time we spent being so scared and dreading the end of the book, we realise it’s really not that bad. That we were worried for no reason. All we’re left with is Grover, who self describes as lovable and furry. In reality, we’re left with an ATAR and a university offer and a few memories of an exam room. Which really isn’t as bad as the Monster we were petrified of for the duration of the book.
Or, at least I hope not.
I’m still on about page two of the book and, even though I just wrote this whole post about there not really being a Monster at the end of this Book, I’m still scared there will be. I’m currently building reinforced walls to prevent my pages from being turned and I don’t want to hear anything about the Monster at all. I freak out at the mere mention of it, because Monsters are scary and we’re all allowed to have irrational fears. Every time a teacher mentions the Monster it’s like I’m Grover reading the cover for the first time. I guess I just need to keep reminding myself that Grover is the only thing on that last page, and he’s definitely nothing to be afraid of. Or maybe I’ll just double brick my walls.
frangipani princess xoxo