the joy of learning

All through my childhood and school years, I did quite well academically. I liked school (mostly), I enjoyed learning new things, and I relished any opportunity to show that I was a bright and capable student (except I was never that kid who put their hand up to answer questions in class).

After finishing high school, I went straight into university, and did my Pharmacy degree. Although there was a bit of an adjustment phase to this new learning structure, I did enjoy university too. There was something of a thrill in being presented with this new level of intellectual challenge.

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wisdom from the maths classroom

One of the greatest lessons I ever learnt in high school was in a junior maths class. It didn’t actually have anything to do with maths – well, not really, but there’s fractions involved so maybe that counts (?)

Anyway, this was a lesson that I hadn’t expected to have applications outside of class or school, but it surprisingly stuck with me all this time, even beyond university. The reason I’ve been thinking about it recently is actually mostly because of stuff that I’ve read on other blogs (and also stuff from real-life conversations too, I suppose), so I thought it’d be quite fitting to share that lesson here.

I can’t remember if this was in grade 8 or 9, but it was one of the first lessons of the semester (probably the very first). The teacher was telling us a bit about how he runs his classes and all that sort of thing, and he said something to this effect:

“If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask it because chances are that at least a third of the class have the same question.”
– Mr B., circa 2003 (?) (OMG has it really been that long??)

He was one of those “there are no silly questions” kind of teachers, but he’d still give you a weird look if you asked an obviously silly question (he’d still answer it, of course). Looking back on it, I reckon it’s kind of funny how this teacher, who was actually kind of intimidating, turned out to be amongst my favourite and most memorable teachers. He’d actually give us pep talks and advice like the gem I’m (supposed to be) writing this post about. I don’t remember him being overly expressive (I just remember him being a pretty serious sort of guy) but you could tell that he wanted us students to do well in class and in life.

Back to the quote/lesson and how it relates to life now: I’ve come to realise that people sometimes think that they are alone in their problems, but this is rarely the case. Other people might not be going through the exact same thing, but they’ve probably had the same anxieties or the same stressors or the same burdens. When I’m reading other blogs, and understanding what someone is writing about because I’ve experienced that before, or perhaps reading the comments and seeing that even one other person is able to relate – it’s quite uplifting.

And, in a way, it’s especially true for something like Post Secret or Deep Dark Fears, because they’re things that people probably don’t openly share with others – even close friends or relatives – and yet they want to share that secret or that fear with the world. And then if someone else comes along and see what they’ve shared, and they realise that they’ve experienced the same thing, or felt the same way about something, then hopefully they don’t feel so bad about it.

I reckon the same is true of positive experiences and emotions. That’s when laughter becomes contagious and smiles become infectious, right?

Can't remember where I got this pic from (I think it was emailed to me) but it's been saved on my computer for YEARS. If anyone recognises the comic, please let me know!

Can’t remember where I got this pic from (I think it was emailed to me) but it’s been saved on my computer for YEARS. If anyone recognises the comic, please let me know!

People work through problems in different ways, and that’s ok, but sometimes maybe just knowing that there’s someone out there who understands is all that is needed.

never again

I was reminiscing the other night

When it finally just occurred to me.

Can’t believe I took so long to realise

The sad truth that now seems so obvious.

All the little things often overlooked

Were what made these last five years what they were

And they are to be … never again.

hold back the tears

Seeing as I could be bothered adding an entry for the Formal (albeit a short entry), and considering that Graduation is just as (if not more) significant as the Formal, I felt like I ought to write SOMETHING here about the graduation ceremony on Friday.The thing is, though, as some people have realised, it’s quite hard to actually sum it up.A feeling not too uncommon on the day was the whole guilt-for-not-being-totally-sad-about-graduating feeling. For me, I reckon I wasn’t sad because there was no feeling of finality. We went back to school after the ceremony. I had to go back the next day for Chinese school (yes, it’s in C Block). Most of us will return next week to check SAIs. I’ll probably need to go do stuff with senior video. Some people will return next year to collect the school magazine or their assessment stuff from English, etc (Humanities people: you can go collect your assessment stuff the same time you collect English stuff – I asked Mr Best about it on Thursday and he was surprised that anyone would actually want to keep their inquiry log books because no one’s ever asked him before).

And, of course, there were the songs – in my head, that is. I think Thursday night I had “In the end” by Linkin Park in my head (from karaoke). I kept realising that song was not really appropriate for the occasion (“… and in the end, it doesn’t even matter”) and had to block it out. On the way to school on Friday morning the bus driver had the radio on and it just so happened to be playing “Peachy” by Missy Higgins, which is just as inappropriate (“…because life is peachy without me”). Funnily enough, I heard Good Charlotte’s song “Misery” on the radio this morning and it’s not totally unsuitable (“…misery is looking for me”).

I’m getting side-tracked again~! (If you go back to the start, you’ll see that I had intended to write something about the CEREMONY.)

So, the ceremony was good. (I’m going to sort of contradict myself here by actually summing it up even though I implied that I wouldn’t.) I actually liked all the speeches and stuff – Katie forgetting the name of the piece the Symphony people were playing, Mr Sutton’s story about watching CNN in a hotel room, the guest speaker talking about wanting to be an ASIO spy, and Guido and Yolande talking about Ms Underwood’s face and moths and stuff.

Yeah, this is going nowhere. I’ll finish here.

Surf’s up!

short and sweet

… and feels like forever ago.
[A note to those pedantic or whatever people: the following is an intentional understatement.]
Good company
Good music
Good food
Good times
Good memories
Could I have asked for anything else…?