Recently, a fifth-former enrolled in the Philosophy 450 elective at Choate Rosemary Hall was reported to have discovered the meaning of life. In an exclusive interview, the student in question, Arisse Totle ’18, remarked, “I only took this class because I didn’t take World Religions freshman year and needed to fulfill the requirement. I never expected that I’d discover something as monumental as the meaning of life.”
According to Totle, her epiphany occurred during a lesson about the philosopher Immanuel Kant and the theory of transcendental idealism. Elaborating further, “It had been a pretty routine day in class. I was sitting there and copying down notes from the board, when suddenly, the meaning of life hit me. I don’t even know how to describe what it felt like. Everything in the universe just clicked into place. All I can say is that I walked out of class that day a changed person.”
Unfortunately, Totle’s groundbreaking philosophical discovery has been accompanied by a few drawbacks. As she explained to reporters, Totle’s understanding of the meaning of life has not been helpful to her performance in her philosophy course. “I thought that once I discovered the meaning of life I’d essentially be set for the rest of the term,” she commented. “I mean, that’s kind of the ultimate goal of philosophy, so I figured there wasn’t really much else I had to learn. But after taking the next test, I realized that I had been wrong. Turns out philosophy is more about memorizing the definitions of a bunch of terms than actually achieving enlightenment!”
Since her epiphany, several students close to Totle have expressed their frustration with her post-enlightenment self. Commented one anonymous friend, “Arisse has been acting really stuck-up ever since she made her big revelation, or whatever she did. Like, the other day I asked her if she wanted to come to D’s with me, and she told me that ever since she discovered humanity’s ultimate purpose, there was no point in frivolously socializing. I just thought that was really rude.” Added another member of the class, “I mean, she won’t even tell anyone what the meaning of life is. She claims it’s because it’s ‘a concept so big it would shatter your minds if you didn’t realize it on your own’, but I don’t buy that. I’m pretty sure she’s just bluffing.”
At press time, Totle was seen in her dean’s office, attempting to drop Philosophy 450 yet still receive the credit on the basis that she had “nothing left to learn” from the class. She currently maintains a C+ in the course.