excitement in little doses

Meant to post earlier about Project Week and my return from it, but it got too personal and so I locked it. Now my ‘day one of seven’! post just looks really awkward there on my main page. In any case, it was an exciting week, I think, with very different groups of people and agendas and itineraries and new insights, and a sorely needed escape, but it left me extremely reluctant to head back.

Being back on campus for the home stretch, as so many people have quipped, has been interesting, to say the least. Odd to say this in the last three months of Pearson, but my lifestyle has changed, consciously but not always deliberately, and I can’t necessarily say it’s an unmitigated success, but I’m seeing improvements in my state(s) of mind (which, ok, could be illusory but let’s just go with that for now), and trying to figure out if I should have instituted these changes a long time ago. Or something. More alone time, for example, and scheduled, intentional interactions with people. Retiring to my room early and spending the few hours before bed alone or quietly. Setting my alarm for 7 and having breakfast. Dressing properly for class. Dressing, if not well, then intentionally. Minimizing filler interactions. I don’t know. I don’t know how long these changes will last, but I’m not really trying to push them anyway. For now they seem easy enough.

Today was quite an unexpectedly lovely day, though. Went a concise English essay in the morning, survived my inadequately-prepared philosophy presentation, broke in the wing paddles for a two-hour kayak out of the bay in the sun-soaked afternoon, and then enjoyed a jaunt into Victoria for a kayaking film festival, which turned into a frozen-yogurt bonding session after it was discovered the event had been postponed. I like these small doses of casual, directed social interactions with people. I then took the liberty of having a night off, since all I need to do by tomorrow is read the first few chapters of Oryx and Crake, which I’ve already read and can reread tomorrow during lunch, and spent the next couple of hours in bed watching TED Talks and Stumbling Upon things. School curricula should be built around TED Talks. I watched a fantastic one by a guy who wrote a unique cookbook with photos of the cross-sections of things while they’re cooking, and he incorporates the sciences of cooking in with the recipes. Now that is how I want to learn science!

This also reminds me of the one I watched yesterday about the teaching of mathematics is all wrong. Linking to the fact that my philosophy presentation today was very briefly about the social organization of education in modern times and my activities tonight, I’m re-evaluating my attitudes towards education too. I suspect I’m quite a contrary student – I tend to lose interest in assigned material. My interest is only sustained if it’s self-generated, and the process of that generation mechanism remains quite mysterious and seemingly arbitrary to me. I also seem to be most, or at least more, receptive to ideas received through the medium of the Internet than formal schooling systems. I learnt much of my views or ideas about sustainability, gender issues, philosophical ethics, biotechnology, things like that, through the Internet. Discerningly, of course, but the fact remains that I think the Internet has taught me more than Pearson has what Pearson aims to teach, at least in measures recognizable and evident to me, and – I don’t know what that means, really.

I’m glad I have the kayaking trip to be excited about in the summer. I suppose after April 1 I will have more plans after that to be excited about, or at least something else with which to preoccupy myself. Every event now seems like a looming landmark marking each step closer to the horizon: One World, Block Week, Easter, end of activities, end of classes, IB exams, bay jump … I don’t know. I’m a lot more circumspect about things now.

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