Freedom

January 23, 2010

Aged Jetty

If only freedom was less of a notion unreal,
Oh, how delighted I would be!

I am not foreign to studies, in fact, I adore to read and learn new things; I love the fulfilling sensation to have my eyes opened by novel insights. I do however loathe to study subjects that interest me little, or not at all, as life is too precious to be allowed to go to such waste.

I understand that chemistry is one of the corner stones of science, but as a person whose interests forever shall be enamoured by the theoretical nature of science — which once upon a time was labelled “natural philosophy” — I find the act of studying it a chore best avoided.

I need to say I desire to help push the frontiers of science forward, for nothing less is expected of me. What my heart truly desires, I cannot allow to cross my lips. It’s a notion so foreign it is best silenced; tucked away in the jewelled box of my mind where I keep my most treasured secrets.

Still, as I force myself to study subjects that fail to appeal to my curiosity — by imposing alien restrains upon my own being — I find my mind floating into the vacuum of delight that unsatisfying discoveries create; I find my gaze abandoning the print on the pages to soar into the skies, into my own little world where my mind can be free.

A Day’s Work

January 14, 2010

Studying

Because I do not have any labs in Physiology1002 until next Thursday, I had today off. Having woken up at a reasonable hour and having had breakfast — oatmeal porridge with cranberries, with tea on the side — I managed to force myself to spend a few hours studying.

Studying has bored me to tears since infancy — not that infants study, but you get the point — and so I have attempted to avoid it whenever I can. For the most part things have worked out well, as my grades have been more than sufficient this far, although I would not recommend anyone to follow my poor example.

Since I learnt that I need to score 60% of higher in order to continue on to study towards a Master’s degree in a few year’s time, I have started to attempt to study more, as doing research is what I have dreamt about for years. But, it is terribly hard, as I sincerely do not know how to study properly. I have to learn what I should have learnt decades ago, and the process is slow.

To keep my spirits up I have therefore decided to make studying as fun as I can, by allowing myself to draw and colour; because it is childishly fun. So, I read my text books and lecture notes, while simultaneously copying down important points on paper and illustrating with colourful pictures.

It’s a time-consuming process, but I find that I can keep at it for hours as it makes studying more of a pastime than a chore.

My greatest concern is however that I never the less will fail to reach my goal of scoring >60% on my future tests, as a great deal of the curriculum includes subjects that bore me to tears. And when the motivation to learn is lacking, even the most ambitious of efforts are in vain.

For the moment — rather than studying biochemistry — I would like to start writing a thorough draft of my fantasy novel. I have finished plotting about a third of the story, but I find the hardest part being how to start. While I wait for inspiration to strike, I study, as I reason it cannot hurt me the least.

Two Choices Became One

April 3, 2009

River Cam

Half a year ago I submitted a university application which I had spent many summer weeks writing and perfecting. I had the most glorious of plans; I was only going to apply to only one university; the highest ranked university on the continent where I happen to reside.

People warned me and told me that it would not be wise, that things never turn out the way in which one expects them to, that I should use all the five choices which I were given. But I refused. I knew I was going to be admitted to the university most people can only dream of ever attending; because I was the best.

Two months after my application had been submitted I visited the university to attend an interview. It did not go well – it was nothing like I had expected it to be. The mock interviews had cemented a stubborn belief in my own superiority over everyone else; to be interviewed by professors employed by the continent’s finest university would be a piece of cake!

I was wrong, so wrong.

I returned home worried, hoping I had read the situation the wrong way, that the professors’ face-palming gestures were because they were tired at the end of a long day – not because I was a Swede born yesterday. A month thereafter reality befell me as I learnt that my application had been unsuccessful.

And I thanked my lucky stars for having made sure people warned me, that such belief in oneself would be unwise; I thanked the people who had warned me for being foolish; I thanked myself for having used my five choices.

My first choice was unsuccessful and the fifth choice I withdrew (though I am certain I would have been successful). My third choice made me an offer and like-wisely did my fourth. My second choice of university I did not hear from until today: unfortunately, my application was unsuccessful.

A sting of regret passed through my body upon learning that I had been rejected once more, I am however surprised to realise that I now am only a little numb, seated here in front of my computer monitor, telling the world of my failure. When my first choice rejected my application, I cried and regretted my stubborn pride for days. These two feelings are different.

I had two choices (three really, but only two I considered) and now the two have gone down to one. The rejection hurt me – this I cannot deny – and yet I am in no pain. It is because I had two choices, two choices which have gone down to one.

To decide upon two matters similar, yet different, is a task impossible for someone as undecided as myself. Should I choose the finer of the two universities I wished to attend, though its course was longer and a little less in my taste? Or, should I choose the other university; less well-recommended, but with a shorter course which appealed to me more? The choice may seem a simple one to make, but for me it was not; I wanted them both.

When I learnt that the finer of the two rejected me, I felt tears burn behind the lids of my eyes. But I wiped them away, attempting to see the matter from its brightest side, and I succeeded. The tears were blinked back – for now my dilemma has been solved.

Half a year ago I submitted an application to five universities overseas. I thought four of my choices unnecessary; there was no way I would ever fail. And yet I did – which I never would have believed had I told myself before the fact. Yet, I cannot help but smile deep within, though I of course still am a little bit disappointed in myself.

I cannot help but smile because my choices have gone down to one; the choice I had to make is to be made no more. It was made for me, and everything turned out for the best. For, truth being said, though I applied to the most sophisticated university on the continent – the university of prime ministers and kings – I would not have been happy there. Where I am going now I believe I will be happy – though I would never have believed my own words did I tell my own self six months back.

Life is a marvellous experience, and it is during bitter-sweet days such as this that I realise that every disappointment has a gilded edge; it is only a matter of noticing it.

A Stale Fresh Start

March 23, 2009

Ceramic Zoology

Everything has a beginning. Today was the first day of the new week, and it also happened to be the first day of my spring term. Of course, I realise this as well as everyone else, that the spring term is well underway. So, how come that today is my first day, and not one of the anonymous days bound to end up in the middle of a semester?

Before every beginning there is also an end, and so the reason for today being a fresh start is because I terminated the studies I previously pursued. There is a saying that goes along the lines of: “Once is nothing, twice is tradition”, and after two years I have found that terminating courses of higher studies is a tradition of mine.

For someone who is determined to one day be as sophisticated as she imagines herself being, such a tradition is of course subject to nothing but her own ridicule. But I reason as such, that as long as I am aware of what I do wrong I may continue, for knowing and not knowing is what makes all the difference. And that is the way in which I excuse myself for having failed to attain a degree for the second time in as many years.

The new course which I now have commenced studying will not taunt me with a degree mocking me from three years into the future, and I am glad. Three years is after all quite an unfathomable length of time! (At least for someone who is as fond of immediate accomplishments as am I.) No, this new course will award me no degree and I hope that this will be the motivating which I seek; perhaps without the promise of a degree I will be able to properly finish something for the first time in many years!

I am however sensing that problems do not lay far ahead and I can see the clouds of boredom looming above a rather mundane horizon.

Entrance

Fresh starts are energising, and with a smile on my face I took place in the lecture hall this morning, eagerly anticipating the start of a new course. The Diversity and Phylogeny of Organisms has such a nice ring to the ears of a person intrigued by biology, does it not?

Sadly, ten minutes into the introductory lecture I was struggling to remain awake. That I barely managed to close my eyes to get a few well-earned hours of sleep the night before was an unimportant reason to employ in an attempt to explain my fatigue; ten minutes was all that was needed to turn a fresh start stale. For, I realised that the level of education on offer had not changed despite the change of course I had put so much hope for improvement into.

My reason for having failed to yet attain a degree stems from nothing but contempt for the elementary. Since my youngest years zoology has intrigued and fascinated me, a fondness many years later having rendered me quite knowledgeable–even in matters well beyond the realm of biology. I desire for nothing more than to be granted access to the next level of education, a world from which I am banned before I have earned a degree with which to prove my worth.

But how? I ask, how will I ever be able to attain the proof which I require when even the freshest of starts is stale before it has even begun? That is a question which troubles the wise, and before it has been answered I will continue to find education one of the evils of the world. For, when studying physics the geniuses find me as unwanted a liability as I find them within my field of interest.

Everyone is different and homogeneity creates nothing but forgotten geniuses such as I.

But I shall not pass judgements this early on. I shall return tomorrow with a new smile and remember the toast I ill have for breakfast; the toast that when broken in half will remind me of that freshness lies dormant below even the stalest of crusts.