So this is a break from the usual programming of reminisce, rinse and repeat to save for posterity my experience in the most random module I’ve taken so far – GET1001, Seeing the World Through Maps. It’s 3.45 and I don’t have the energy to sustain a full fledged essay at this point so this going to short but I hope it captures the essence well enough.
I took this module because I was only just hitting 18MCs that I needed to take in a semester and my friend suggested taking another mod to make sure I didn’t underload and so I decided to scroll through the list of available modules. Yes, that was how I found this module and the story of my haphazard preparation for this semester – I’m doing 2 modules in which I’ve gone at it alone completely, for better or worse. So I scrolled at found this fairly fascinating module (always the Social Science ones huh) and it looked relatively chill with only 4 tutorials all semester, 2 projects and 1 final paper in a style I was used to from school. The content looked pretty interesting (sociology, history, biology all rolled into geography seemed like a solid deal) and it was only 1 bid point so I just placed my bid for the module and to no one’s surprise, I got it. The entire processing of deciding took 15 minutes, yep. I’m in total control of my life.
I guess I’d say it was really God’s plan for me to have taken this module even though it has absolutely no bearing on my major and it was taken on, what looked like, a whim. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked why I’m doing this mod and all the absolutely incredulous looks I get from people when I try to explain it, I think I suck at making a convincing case LOL. Anyway.
But truly, it’s been a joy. I’ve found what I’ve learnt really insightful and has helped me analyse not just maps but things in general a lot more critically and with more nuance. The Profs are well versed with the content (this is sounding like a module review now lol) and make things exciting with their personal anecdotes and most of all by showing a genuine passion for the subject matter. It cannot be understated how contagious passion can be. All this for a one bid point module?
But I guess what was the best part of this module was the groupmates I met. It definitely helps that the two projects were fun and the reduced number of tutorials makes for a more breathable timetable but really what carried the module were the 3 other guys I worked with. I must admit I was really apprehensive going in about who I’d get as teammates… after all I was entirely alone. If it was a module where it was completely individual based I’d have been more comfortable but this was not. I needn’t have worried. A Year 3, a Year 2 and another Year 1 but this was about as much ease one could possibly have working with complete strangers. Cooperative, hardworking, insightful, initiative-taking and focused, it was a real pleasure to have had a stress free 13 weeks working on the two projects. For the last project we met at a cafe to do last minute revisions and we indulged in moments of laughter and conversation on soccer and it felt like the perfect balance. I guess it really was.
We probably won’t remain in contact once this module ends seeing as we are all in different stages of this 4 year chapter but while this lasted, it’s been a ride. And seeing our efforts pay off with a positive response to our first project from our Prof definitely goes a long distance too haha. Maybe my learning to live in present without making meaning from the get go is paying off… maybe I should make more wild decisions like this in the future too (jk).
Not been the easiest weeks, let alone academic year, but it’s the small joys in life that we have to take heart from and this module is certainly one of them. I’m glad. And I’m grateful.
funny that this album would be titled, it doesn’t have to make sense, hahaha… maybe what you think of me won’t change. but i’ll hold on, just as i’ve been trying to so many things at this point, to the old days. God, I just hope you’ll show me what this all means, some day…
“grow and learn, yes but also please have lots of fun in uni! ”
while i sometimes lament the lack of depth, as i sit in my room and stare at moments which held deep honesty, i can’t help but feel like this time, this hallowed time in uni, is slowly but surely slipping me by.
in all that i hope to pursue – to be better, to live a life of use, to grow – i remember your words and feel the acute loss of what should have been. dad, mom, and pretty much every adult who has graduated, all remark that uni will be the best days of your life but barring the few glimpses of unbridled joy, i can’t help but feel otherwise. is this on me? am i making it too hard for myself to just be? worrying about every tiny detail from the moment i get up to the moment i hit the bed again: why didn’t this person say hi to me, does he/she hate me? / this person doesn’t want to talk to me / find some way to avoid people, i’m so scared / why didn’t i do this for that person in time? / i’m not doing my best and i’m not making them proud / screw off demons get away from me / i must be better.
so yes C, i feel like i’m growing and learning, too much of it even but perhaps i forgot how to have fun in the process. maybe you just can’t have the best of both worlds.
i’m reminded of a time when it felt exactly like this… the closing days of 2013 as i looked back on the first year of my hwach life with so much left to be desired. it wasn’t meant to turn out the way it was going. a few months later God sent me a gift in the form of an OG that would quite literally, and single-handedly, set the hwach chapter of my life right. the inevitable parting that followed a few weeks after orientation was a strong, if not unexpected, blow to the soul. not everything amazing lasts. but the spirit and energy from that feu de joie, the nights dancing in botanic gardens, singing xishuichangliu in the central plaza would carry me through the rest of the year. it gave me strength to do my best to close out that chapter the best that i could, and make peace with whatever time that i lost.
will the same happen this summer as i meet a new bunch of year 1s, beaming with energy and excitement? i’d like to say that life follows great cycles and 4 years on, it is only certain that that should follow. but the truth is i don’t know. there’s only one thing i can do and that is to have faith. it is when one least expects that the glorious rays of the golden hour can come crashing in.
whatever it is, i hope that 3 years from now as i prepare to graduate i can look back on this journey and be at peace with what it was, knowing that what was meant to be, was.
two cursors we stood
characters apart on a google stage.
a4-scape a story pray tell we could,
life’s key pressed instead a turned page.
I’ve fallen for you so bad but I can’t let this go bad.
I’ll find a way to let you go, I have to.
Thank you God, for sending me an angel to restore this hope in me, but I know what I have to do.
- sometimes keeping the tears in can be really really hard – dang if this happens next year in a suite and i go into a meltdown spiral it’s going to be a sight to behold (while I behold getting kicked out lolol)
- letting go is hard but i know now better than ever before that some stories are not meant to be – not dreamt of, not hoped for, just simply not possible – like c before, sometimes you need to know when to walk away. it’s painful but with the awareness that i have now that i didn’t then, making the same mistake is only going to be way worse.
- sometimes, all it takes its 15 minutes to change the course of your life, sometimes it takes an afternoon or two but when the moment comes your way, you grasp it and then you don’t look back.
- and so if it started for you in boston, maybe it has for me too. maybe it’ll take me 5x as long to get to where you are but if this is a fire that’s meant to run its course then God please give me the strength to make the most of it and to be the person I am meant to be.
- “gotta let it happen // so if i let go of control now, i will be strong”
My soul was on fire. Photos with Laura and Corey. A conversation with her high school theatre teacher. A friend to live it all through, someone for the ages.
We walked out of the Jacobs all ready to leave. Still in awe, the crisp New York air filled my lungs as I stepped out. We walked side by side, just thankful to even be here amidst the towering buildings, a coordinate within the city’s grid system. Opposite, Dear Evan Hansen and Great Comet; down the street, Waitress and along 7th, Times.
Mesmerized by the on-stage love of Julia and Danny, I walked… just thankful.
The security laid out the metal barricades and across the street I could hear shouts of “Josh! Josh!!” and “Ben!”. Who knew I’d meet Ben just days later? A reminder for patience, I would failed to heed over and over again. E noticed fans gathering at the barricades and we both just knew what we had to do. Fans I may have known from a Tumblr click or two, just metres away from me. And then there they were.
We wandered the streets, a million directions it seemed like we could head toward, blocks and blocks we could walk. Pizza for a dollar, Auntie Anne’s banter. NBA Conference Finals only a coast away, yet the east was all that seemed to matter. Didn’t seem to feel like I was there for a wedding, and that was the first time I wished I wasn’t. The feeling of want for time was back following me
The CityPasses we had were due to expire and there seemed like there was no better a night to go visit the Empire. And indeed there wasn’t. Around us, night crept deeper but the cacophony seemed to never settle: sounds, lights, people.
As we rode up the escalator to the top, my heart nagged at me, wondering why this moment couldn’t last. Looking down at the city later, washed in a glow of enigma that would fascinate me till this day, matched only by a cousin up North, I knew that there was something missing but I wasn’t simply going to find it just like there. I had to keep searching but also had to learn to be happy just being.
Things would change quick soon after I took that United 1 flight back but something clicked: the life I wanted to see could take root back home. And I owe it to the people here to make that a reality. I’d like to think I’m an Arrow of sorts, doing something for his city; but this city deserves better, everyone in this city deserves so much more.
I would forget this again until, by the grace of God, I would find myself in Logan. I live and breathe this now, and won’t stop till I get there.
But back to that night at the observation deck, as the magic filled our lungs, I just smiled. Not everything was about the bright lights and big city, but boy how good it feels when everything aligns right.
Boy how good it feels when you feel so big even when you’re so small.
Boy how good it feels when that rush of fire takes over.
Boy how good it feels when you just let it be.
this might make no sense but it is what it is – a stream of consciousness. << i’ve made mistakes but i’m coming home and i hope to make you proud. >>
I replay the 3 minute video and find myself transported back to the same night and the same moment over and over. I wish it turned out differently then but maybe it was for the best.
I hurt but I learnt and though it took us a while, we came full circle back to where we started. Things weren’t the same but they got better, and for that I am thankful. For that, and so much more, I am thankful.
Last August, 45 min: you, just the way I remembered, sitting in the lobby’s couch, bringing a dose of honesty in conversation that I’d daily soon long to have.
At that moment, I wondered yet again what could have been been had I been different – had I known better.
But I stopped myself in my tracks and deep down I knew, this was how it was always meant to be. And so I simply enjoyed the company with you.
That was all that mattered.
Thoughts for the night/weekend:
- Things always pay off in the long run, even if you don’t see it at first
- Control and conquer
- Rise, rise, rise (be better, for whoever, always)