A Walk in the Park

Today was a wonderful day. It had nothing to do with having the second of my two tests this week, or having to hand in an English paper due tomorrow. It was a beautiful day, because it was.
I went to Jennifer (my science Teaching Assistant, if you've been following my journals), because I was unable to do my homework due in the afternoon. I had so much on my mind yesterday night I couldn't study properly. Science requires so much concentration, and with all the tests and papers in the way, I couldn't muster up enough of that to read through the rather abstract textbook. Anyway, after solving a few problems, we engaged in unacademic chit-chat. She's doing a PhD in Astro-physics, something I wouldn't even dream of attempting. I cannot imagine anyone in Singapore wanting to study that, not because we're not smart enough to, but because we've adopted an almost totally pragmatic view to life, and studies. It always has to be economically viable etc. It's not wrong of course, for it's only common sense, but there's the sense of adventure when you choose to study what you love, to learn about things that may not make you money, but will fill you with such awe you find life worth living. Jennifer told me that her first memories of wanting to learn about astronomy started when she was about four, looking out of the window of her family car when they traveled at night, wanting so much to know why stars were so bright, how far they were etc etc. I looked at her now, and she has certainly come a long way since. How many of us have laid down our childhood dreams, only to let them die because we were afraid to take it up? Will mankind ever go beyond the stars, if our only aim is to fill our appetites? Necessity is the mother of invention, some wise person said. What would we have invented ourselves to be, if not for those who saw beyond necessity, and made it a necessity to know, to learn, to discover?
I am not an astronomer, neither am I here studying abstract art. I chose MIS due to pragmatism, and also the fact that I could be good at it. I know the need for money is important for our well-being, but we cannot walk with our heads to the ground, looking for every cent that someone else dropped. We need to look to the sky sometimes, and see the boundless possibilities that await us.
<center><img src = "oldpage/images/mall.jpg" alt="The grassy mall at the U of A"></center>
A few moments ago I sat at the Mall (a large patch of grass in the middle of the University), eating an apple pie from McDonald's. It was something I had wanted to do for so long – sitting at the mall I mean, not the apple pie. The sky was the most wonderful blue, and the red brick of the school buildings held up against it creating a most picturesque scene. The many different people walking past, each seemingly oblivious to each other, were a marvelous blend of colour. Out of nowhere a Rottweiler popped in front of my face, wanting a sniff at the remnants of the pie in my hand. If you'd read about Rottweilers a few years back, you'd know what these animals are capable of. I patted its head, not wanting to share my apple pie with it. It was a most wonderful moment. There was nothing to fear, and I sat there like I were two years old, playing with my pet dog. Those of you who know my dog at home know that it's impossible to pat it on the head without having your hand dissected from your arm. Its owner whistled and it plodded happily away. Bliss.
My English paper is due tomorrow, and I hear it whistling for attention. I plod away…bliss? Frankly, I'd much rather be here talking to you.

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