So another semester has come and gone. Since this is going to be my last post of 2008 for UpbeaT, before I say anything else, I’d just like to take a moment and thank all you faithful readers out there for your support. We write for you, and needless to say, you have all contributed hugely to this blog’s success so far. So, thank you.
I think that after all that adrenaline rush for the week of exams I barely survived, I’m now pretty much drained of energy. Meanwhile, we all know that while exams have ended, life nevertheless goes on. There are question marks everywhere, from not knowing our final grades on ROSI to the uncertainties of the US bailout plan of the auto industry. Personally, when the consequences of these events are potentially life-changing, I tend to take it not so well. Doubts and fears…I seriously think that should these be eradicated, we would live at least a decade longer.
I’ve come to realize that when we are bogged down with school and other more immediate life issues, there really isn’t any room in our lives for fearing the unknown, which, for some of us, constitutes life after graduation, and for other more global thinkers, the after-life in general. It’s only when the calm has once again returned, that we look around and realize, to our biggest horrors, that alas, the endings are “closer they appear” (see side view mirror on your car). It was only yesterday, sitting in front of my laptop and struggling with a huge writer’s block, that I realized that I was still stressed despite finishing my exams. My spirit was just so weighed down by everything that I wasn’t yet sure about, and it felt like if I didn’t do anything about all of it soon, the rest of my life that I’ve so carefully glued together would just fall to pieces in one blow. It was as if reality had suddenly kicked in, and a tiny voice inside my head nagged at my lala-ing self for believing – even if it was only temporary – that if you get it right once, you are home free.
True, if life were that simple, we’d all be sitting by the fireplace sipping EGGNOG (also, you wouldn’t need a VISA card). But reality is always much harsher than we’d like, no? Reflecting back on this past year, the one thing I’ve learned is that after doing everything you possibly could to propel a certain favourable outcome to an event, there’s nothing else you can do but to have faith, which entails that you exude a certain trust in your environment, your life and your future. As a self-proclaimed idealist, I’ve found that having faith simplifies the situation to a certain extent, and gives you the inner strength to carry on with your life and protects you from being paralyzed by fear. Although some may claim that optimism is genetic, it really just takes practice. Learn to let go and realize what it is that you cannot change and what it is that you are responsible for, which really just comes down to your own happiness and well-being. In that sense, why put yourself through hell when you could have it so much better? In the end, the only person that would end up suffering is yourself.
The funny thing is, often, when you have faith, things usually turn out for the better. If you’ve ever had a ring stuck on your finger that you can’t pull off, you’d know what I mean: the harder you pull on it, the tighter it seems to get. But once you forget about it and wait for a day or two, the ring just falls off on its own! Life’s weird like that.
To finish off my last post of this year, I’ve attached a badly-written poem to this post (as a blog-typed Christmas present, I suppose). I wrote this in my AP calculus class all the way back in grade 12. If you’ve already burned your notes, see if you’d still “get” some of the concepts hinted at in the poem. If you do, then give yourself a pat on the back – you do know some calculus after all!
Have a great break everybody! Eat, sleep and be merry.
[Ode To Calculus]
Disclaimer: The names mentioned in the poem refer purely to past mathematicians and/or physicists. Should your name also be one of the following, please realize that I have nothing personal against you.
Calculus, oh calculus, how do I loathe thee!
Why can’t you just be kind and let me be free?
Newton and Leibniz, what have I EVER done to you?
That would make you think of incredulous ways to torment me so?
Fermat why did you have to invent untangeable tangents?
Pascal, no offense but your triangle really sucks.
And to all the other mathematician wanna-be’s who are still working off their butts
I really suggest you go outside of your limits a little, because an exciting life awaits.
Really, if you think about it, “Gottfried” isn’t the coolest name
And a “jerk” is obviously unfriendly, and it has a terrible fame
A human mind is usually sane, until the outside becomes inside and everything’s chained up
Thus discontinuities are mistaken for concavities, which can suddenly resemble a big cup
And don’t even talk sines to me, because I mistake one for another
Although they seem to own such a wonderful love triangle that they now closely resemble each other
And the log-ging industry (with crazy bases) doesn’t make sense either
As the weight of iron can suddenly be replaced with the weight of a feather
But alas the rates of these functions of life are all related to one another
And differentials and integrals can’t seem to live without each other
To optimize the situation at hand, derivatives are really the most useful
Perhaps when approaching an asymptote of melancholy, infinity will have to do.