The Master of Philosophy "Knowledge Stall" answers the meaning of life

Get rid of burnout, release the pressure of academic job search and communicate with strangers to enrich life experiences

During graduation season, some college students began to set up stalls on the streets. They don't sell goods, make coffee, or mix cocktails, but offer "paid chat, consultation" services. This "knowledge stall" tide may become a new window for young people to have close contact with society during graduation.

They get rid of burnout and release academic pressure by setting up stalls. One stall owner said, "The biggest gain of setting up a stall is to be able to communicate sincerely with strangers." What they see and hear can also motivate them to read more professional books and have the confidence to "serve" customers.

Master of Philosophy sells "counseling, healing and chatting"

"At the beginning, 88 yuan per person, you can talk for as long as you want." At nightfall at 9 o'clock, in the ancient city of Dali, scattered stalls spread out along Renmin Road, and "Tropical Fish", a graduate student of the Department of Philosophy of Sun Yat-sen University, set up a "academic stall" stall.

"Tropical Fish" came to the ancient town during the May Day holiday, and she sat on the steps of the stone road in the ancient town, holding an old cardboard with a black marker that read "Master of Philosophy, Proficient in Existentialism". Unlike the surrounding ones selling colored hair ropes, crystal jewelry, and tarot card divination, the stalls of "Tropical Fish" sell "philosophical advice, healing and chat". This inspiration came from her class "Philosophical Therapy and Counseling" that she audited at school.

At first, "tropical fish" just wanted to have a play, but did not expect that there were really people "patronizing".

The first guest was a 40-year-old brother. He came to the stall and looked at the girl with blue hair in front of him and asked, "What is the meaning of life?" In the hour that followed, words such as "Sartre," "Camus," and "existentialism" "weave" through the bustling street. "Life has no meaning, so we have to create meaning." The chat, which lasted nearly an hour, ended with the summary of "tropical fish".

As the first customer, "Tropical Fish" gave the eldest brother a discount, "WeChat received 66 yuan". The success of the first stall surprised the "tropical fish".

After that, "Tropical Fish" added original postcards to its booth: 15 yuan a piece; Original poetry collection, the price is variable, and the original philosophical consultation of 88 yuan is canceled, as long as you buy something from the stall, the consultation is free.

"Income is volatile." She said that when there are few customers, the income is less than 100 yuan a day, but sometimes the "temperament" of the stall can be quite profitable according to the taste of the customer, "Once, a little brother bought three postcards and swept 333 yuan, and he earned a total of 600 yuan that day." ”

In just a few days, "Tropical Fish" has met many friends because of the stall - a scavenger who solicits business for her in Sichuanese, a girl who is inspired by her to hold "feminist" cardboard, and many tourists who live in the house. They sit next to the "tropical fish", talking, drinking, taking pictures, and writing poetry. She also calls the moment of having a good conversation with a stranger "eternity."

"People meet unexpectedly, but everyone can communicate sincerely." This is the biggest gain of the "Tropical Fish" stall. At the same time, she believes that what she sees and hears at the stall can motivate her to read more professional books, "so that she can 'serve' customers with more confidence." ”

On the fifth day of the stall, the tropical fish "fired", and tourists from social platforms suddenly rushed to her, "I felt like I became a landscape". She immediately removed the planks and suspended her "business."

Get rid of burnout, open-air "clinics" help pedestrians "chat"

In Dali, there are more than just "tropical fish" in the "knowledge stall". Humble Mu wears a tie-dyed cloth collared Han clothes, drinks tea in the morning to meet friends, visits the vegetable market at noon, and rides a battery car and blows the breeze to the fruit stall in the afternoon to achieve fruit freedom.

Six months ago, when Humble Mu was still in Shenzhen, he graduated from applied psychology and naturally entered a hospital to engage in psychotherapy: but at that time, he felt more like a "screw", "sitting in a room of several square meters all day for consultation, facing repetitive work, and soon had burnout."

Later, Humble set up a psychological counseling booth in Dali Ancient Town. The stalls are filled with "oh oka", "rainbow cards" and "impression matches". Humble explains that these are the tools he uses in his counseling process to help him read the client's subconscious. In the middle of the tablecloth is a cardboard with A4 paper, and colored markers write the words "psychology", "healing" and "solving puzzles" on the white paper.

One of the consultations that impressed Humble the most came from a couple. The two held hands and came to the stall, the girl bent over, her eyes swept over the things on the tablecloth, and then said that she wanted to experience "Okka". Humble asks the girl to choose one of the cards with different patterns that she doesn't like, and after looking at it, she hands Humble a card with two people hugging. Humble asked, "What can you see from the card?" "I saw the two of them hugging each other and crying, and I always felt like they were going to separate." The girl replied sadly.

"Out of professional habits, I was eager to explore further why she was afraid to separate." Humaki noticed that during his conversation with the girl, the boy did not speak, just stood by and listened quietly. Later, the boy picked up the "Chat Encounter" guestbook and started writing something. The doubts in Humble Mu's heart were answered: it turned out that because of the boy's professional relationship, the two got together less and separated more, and the girl lacked a sense of security.

After that, their topic revolved around responsibility and family, and the "chat" lasted for an hour, and finally the man took the initiative to transfer the highest price in the price area to Humble Wood: 200 yuan.

Unlike his previous job at the hospital, Humaki does not deal with visitors who have written written materials in advance, but with strangers he constantly encounters in a new environment. This randomness and uncertainty made him feel more rewarding.

When it comes to the present and future, Humaki believes that "knowledge stalling" is the state of life he yearns for, and he plans to stick to it for a long time. But he also admits that from mid-March to mid-April, the income from the stall was only enough to maintain his basic living expenses. Therefore, in order to develop and live better, in addition to setting up a stall, he will still find another income support.

Sell skills and knowledge to fully release the pressure of academic employment

When night falls, parks and streets are crowded, and human fireworks rise among the stalls.

"SLR photography, 1 yuan a piece, 3 yuan five sheets, send legal advice." The advertisement was placed on the always-on iPad screen, next to a vintage DV and a Polaroid camera, and "Red Bean Puree" was holding a DSLR, helping tourists take a night photo of the riverside.

"Master of Chang'an University, proficient in aesthetic principles, philosophy, aesthetics, art consulting." On a cardboard with a slogan on it, a picnic cloth, Guo Tao and his friend sat on folding chairs, slightly nervously waiting for the first passer-by to inquire.

"Red Bean Puree" and Guo Tao, one is a senior law student in Hangzhou, and the other is a master's degree in aesthetics in Xi'an. The two never knew each other, but they made the same choice at a fork in the road in their lives - "knowledge stalls", selling skills and knowledge in parks and streets in their respective cities.

For them, "having fun" and "releasing stress" are the motivations for setting up stalls. "Red Bean Puree" loves to take pictures and is the president of the school's photography club. She wanted to further her studies, but she suffered a failure in the graduate school entrance examination not long ago. Setting up a stall gives "red bean puree" more opportunities to communicate with strangers, which makes her feel comfortable.

Guo Tao is facing the pressure of entering society and finding a job. "It is difficult for aesthetics majors to find a very suitable job, and the public does not understand our profession." Guo Tao then decided to go to the street with his friends, which is "very meaningful and valuable."

"The children in Hangzhou are really good." A Shandong uncle who had just finished taking photos praised "red bean puree". "My uncle boldly transferred me 20 yuan, and that was my first order." In addition to taking photos of "red bean puree", passers-by also came specifically for the five words "send legal advice" in the promotional slogan, two trainee lawyer guests plus trainee lawyer "red bean puree", three peers in front of the 4-square-meter booth began to complain to each other, complaining about the difficulty in the internship.

Speaking of the income from the stall, "Red Bean Puree" quipped: "I earned 44 yuan on the first day, which is my salary for 4 days of internship." ”

Late at night, the pedestrians by the river in Hangzhou City Garden also sparsed, and the bars at the gate of the Liuyuan Garden closed one after another. "Red Bean Puree" and Guo Tao both packed up their things and walked towards the school. When asked whether they would choose to continue setting up stalls in the future, they answered equally firmly: "Yes!" When graduation is over, come back with friends. ”

"The biggest gain from setting up a stall is probably stepping out of the ivory tower and regaining some trust and connection with strangers," says "Red Bean Puree." ”


Academic youth need to be "understood", and it is not recommended that students blindly study for graduate school and doctoral studies

Does "knowledge stall" mean "devaluation of academic qualifications"? Does it make sense for students who choose to "set up a stall" to engage academically and socially? To this end, a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily interviewed Qian Jing, a professor at the School of Economics and Business Administration of Beijing Normal University.

Teacher Qian Jing became "popular" for answering questions for master's and doctoral students on the Internet, and providing academic and workplace methodologies for young friends, and was called "the cloud mentor who knows me best" by netizens.

"Every school year starts, I tell students that if they want to study social sciences well, they must be full of love and experience for society." In Qian Jing's view, "academic stalling" is one of the ways for students to interact with society.

She believes that "knowledge stalling" is a psychological comfort for lonely academics, "Academic innovation means that you are studying very small topics, and perhaps only a few people in the world can understand that this loneliness is uncomfortable." So going out, even if you just find that what you have learned from a certain course can explain the problems in reality, and there are people who are willing to pay to listen to it, is a very great psychological comfort. ”

The experience accumulated over the years has made Ms. Qian Jing have a deep understanding and resonance with the loneliness of academic youth. "Every time I do a live broadcast and video connect with my classmates, many people express their loneliness to me. They need to be accompanied and 'understood'. In Qian Jing's view, this loneliness of academic youth sometimes even makes them question the meaning of "reading" itself, and also makes them uneasy, and doing academia is a process of being constantly selected, which will further aggravate their anxiety and loneliness.

Does the "academic stall" show that academia cannot guide young people out of the dilemma of employment? Qian Jing gave a negative answer. In her opinion, if you want to achieve a soft landing from academic to employment, students need to do more practical things during school, "I am most afraid that students only want to go to school, if they really take the future workplace seriously, they should cultivate their pre-employment qualities as soon as possible." ”

When it comes to the relationship between academics and employment, Qian Jing does not recommend that students blindly go to graduate school and doctoral studies, "I don't recommend everyone to go to graduate school." The three years from undergraduate graduation (such as 223 years old) to graduate school are very valuable 'golden three years' in the workplace. If you go to a graduate student who may not be useful in the workplace in these three years, it will be a kind of stumbling for life. ”

A few days ago, Qian Jing had an exchange with an HR of a large pharmaceutical company about "academia and employment", "I ask, in a company as good as theirs, how many positions clearly require a graduate degree?" She said it was only 20 percent. If undergraduate students want to compete with graduate students for a position, it depends on internship experience and internship performance. ”

Qian Jing believes that part of the job search dilemma encountered by graduates is that some students do not put employment and graduate school on the same important strategic height, "Some students encounter setbacks when applying for undergraduate jobs, and they feel that enterprises do not hire themselves because they do not have enough academic qualifications; When the graduate school is finished, if the company does not hire, he feels that society has deceived me. This is that the ambition is used in the wrong direction, and the weight is placed in the wrong position. ”

In the society, there are also many voices talking about the "education inflation" brought about by "master's and doctoral degrees per capita". In this regard, Qian Jing once again stressed that students should still do things pragmatically and do specific things, which is the best way to resolve anxiety.

This edition / Reporter Zhang Zhiyi Intern Dai Ziting

Coordinator/Lin Yan Zhang Bin