Totally not a morning person.
I was taking my usual route to college one morning when I noticed a man waiting at the pedestrian crossing. His eyes were fixed at his destination; the train station. That’s where he had to go. He had white trench coat and a brown brief-case. He was a business man, I thought. Someone busy. I noticed the Starbucks coffee in one hand and a cigarette held between his fingers in the other. He was a coffee-cigarette kind of a guy. Someone that starts his day with a purpose. At least that’s what I supposed.
And then I looked around at the people around me. There was a sense of impatience in our body language. We all looked forward with an irritated sort of glance at the signal lights…aware that time for us was fixed to our daily routine.
After that, the thought soon vanished as I made my way to college. The daily routine. The same route. The same smells. The same shops. The same views. Everything was defined. Every day had a schedule. Timetabled lectures, timetabled dinner. It came to a point, where I had to schedule phone calls with friends and family.
And so… the day passed in a repetitive, robotic fashion.
It was only today, a sun-kissed Saturday that the thought occurred to me again. I was taking my usual route to college. Everything was the same but there was a different sort of atmosphere. People walked slowly. There was laughter and enjoyment on people’s faces. Families strolled on pavements and you could see people with maps and balloons.
It’s on days like these that you can tell the Londoners from the tourists. The Londoners have a faster walk, a purposeful look. And today, I was the Londoner among a crowd of tourists. The coffee-backpack sort of a girl. The one that walks faster than the rest of them and gets annoyed at people for taking their time. Don’t these people have places to go to?
I had realized however, that I could afford to take it slowly today. I didn’t have lecture. It was a Saturday. And actually, it was a beautiful day and where I was going, people worked in small, enclosed spaces at a desk and I really didn’t want to go there.
And suddenly, it felt good to slow down. I let the heat enter my skin and my eyes gaze into the buildings around me. I stopped to listen to the drummer, I stopped to smile at the children with ice-cream on their noses. It was so strange. Everything was the same but there was more life in it. I reckoned these people deserved the Saturday off. I mean, on most days, don’t they just spend their lives running?
In fact, don’t we all just spend our lives running? Every day is a battle. Every day is a race. A race to school. A race to college. A race to work. Time flies with us and we don’t even stop to enjoy the moment. In fact, the way our lives are programmed, everything is a robotic, repetitive movement, isn’t it?
Think about the last time you had a few spare minutes. What did you do in that time? Did you check Facebook? Email? Whatsapp? Messages?
I had a small revelation a week ago. I was finishing my lab report and decided to leave it alone for a few minutes. Unknowingly, without a minutes thought, I automatically started typing ‘F…’ into my browser. The process was as quick as a thought – second nature! The next few minutes, with a numb expression on my face, I decided to scroll through my feed. Everything was as expected. People were posting pictures, vines, YouTube links and short statuses about their lives. I didn’t even give it a proper read. Suddenly, Buzzfeed popped up on my feed. ‘Top 10 friends moments’ or something like that was the title. Unknowingly, and again, without a second thought, I clicked on the page curiously reading through these lists… The minute I got to the bottom of the page, I started to look through another page.
Suddenly, I stopped. I thought to myself… ‘what was I doing?’. I had spent 10 minutes of my time reading through a mildly entertaining list and laughed once or twice. My mind was drained. My thoughts were empty. I had jumped back on facebook and started scrolling again, almost unknowingly, and without a second thought.
I was inspired to do this post because of the uproar on the ‘dress’ that had recently sprouted up on my feed. It took nothing but one night to break the internet. Everyone was engaged. Everyone was losing their mind. What colour was that damned dress! Overnight, that dress became a celebrity. All it took was a click of a button, a share on a page! We live in a society where the entire internet can be broken with one curious image…
It got me thinking… it took from the moment I slept to the moment I woke up to get everyone talking about the dress. I was guilty of it too – I was on the phone when I started randomly asking ‘oh yeah, what colour was the dress!’…
I couldn’t help but think that I, along with many others, had stopped exercising my mind. There was once a time when procrastination meant reading a novel or solving a crossword puzzle. Instead, I chose to scroll mindlessly on a Facebook page.
But that said, look again at how easily the information spread? Imagine if we could use the internet positively. We could inform the world about so many problems in it and imagine what an impact we could have? And yet, positive changes are so slow… News is always negative. There’s Syria and Greece and the health problems in America and I’m sick of it! It’s just all about the damn shit that’s happening everywhere. Why don’t people talk about aspirating teenagers and awe-inspiring citizens.
And then again, I like facebook. I like to keep in touch with my friends. My best friends are miles away from me…my extended family is miles away from me. I can keep in touch of societies and information…I can keep in touch of events and friends…so it’s a great platform in that sense.
But I’m seriously worried for the extent I am using my time on Facebook and other long lists on internet. Agreed, I study engineering so I’m thinking a lot about science and maths but after that… Nothing…
Is this really what the worlds going to? Are we all just going to become robots to this brainwashing society.
On my part, that thought scares me. It simply petrifies me to think that our lives our so easily governed by the devices in our hands. So, I’ve started reading again. I’ve started to read beyond the lists on buzzfeed to the extent that I’m back to reading novels and stumbleupon articles… Back to drawing and sketching…
What do you guys think?
Thank you ‘TheNorthStar‘ for nominating me for ‘The Leibster Award’. It’s amazing who we met on wordpress but study similar degrees at the same university! The world is a small place!
So here I go…
- Thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Answer the 11 questions set by the blogger.
- Give 11 facts about yourself.
- Nominate other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
- Let other bloggers know you have nominated them, and give 11 new questions for them to answer
- Have you ever broken any bones?
Nope – Fortunately and rather surprisingly I haven’t actually broken any bones in my body yet. The key word there being yet. Being the definition of clumsy, I have however, done a lot of damage to my body in many stupid ways. To give you an example, I ended up jumping on a fence at the age of 11 and pierced my arse. Yes, I know. ‘Just how?’ you ask… Truth be told, I do not know. I suppose the closest I’ve come to breaking anything is the cartilage in my nose when I fell from a monkey bar. That counts.
- What is the weirdest thing you have done?
Based on a very strange set of events, I suppose an easier question to answer would be ‘What weird things haven’t you done?’… I’m as weird as they come. I’m the girl that starts random questions in elevators about the laws of thermodynamics. I wear shoes your grandmother wore with clothes that are either over-sized or undersized at the same time, then wonder why people stare at me. I get on top of tables during leavers week and shout at my teachers, only to get thrown out a second later. (We had to film her response – she wasn’t happy!) I am the sort of girl that quotes the entire of the first harry potter movie at random people and burst into song in lecture theaters. I put crisps in my sandwich and eat it with a spoonful of Nutella… And all of that pretty much happens in one day! So I guess, because weird is actually normal to me, I haven’t done anything that weird at all…
- If you could be a professor at Hogwarts, what would you teach?
I love this question. I would teach charms. Definitely teach charms. I would love to do defense against the dark arts but that’s a long shot seeing as I end up falling over half the time anyway. My friend thinks I should teach potions but potions is a bit chemical for me and the last time I entered a chemistry lab I broke a beaker. So maybe not… I feel like charms is the subject for me because I love cheeky little spells and I can pretty much say Wingardium Leviosa word-perfectly!
- If you were in charge of the education system in your country, what would you change?
This is a really difficult question to answer and it requires a lot of thought. Firstly, I am not happy with the current education system. I think that it’s now all about the race to university and about getting a job. I know what I aspire is difficult to achieve, but I would focus on learning. If I was in charge of education I would find methods to make schooling a place of fun, excitement and learning. Children should be excited about the way the world works. I’d also focus on critical thinking. It’s really important to get people to start asking more why questions. And off course, as an engineering student, I would ask students to express innovation, art and creativity.
- What was the last movie you watched?
A Bollywood film about maximizing your potential even if it makes your elders mad. It’s called Patiala house. It was good!
- Pizza or chips?
Pizza. Hands down.
- Which country would you most like to visit and why?
Absolutely no idea – I would like to go to a country with rich culture. Perhaps Japan?
- Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Does talking to yourself count?
- What languages can you speak?
I can speak English (just about)… and I’m vaguely aware of some words in Gujrati and Hindi. (I’d like to believe I’m semi-fluent but my parents and family think otherwise.)
- What is your favourite vegetable?
Po-ta-toes. (Because I’m secretly a hobbit.)
- What are your favourite properties on the Monopoly board game?
The fact that I can have two houses in a row and people have to pay double the money. It’s the evilest thing I can imagine.
11 facts about myself
1) ‘The road not taken’ is my favourite poem
2) I hate being asked the ‘what music do you like’ question because my answer is too long
3) I frequently experiment with food recipes
4) I have been on top of the highest motor-able road in the world
5) I study at coffee-shops
6) I love to draw and took art classes till the age of 11
7) All my best friends live far away from me, either at different universities or in different parts of the world
8) I performed as Iago in the play Othello and since then people from school think I’m secretly evil
9) I had a crush on my art teacher, Mr D, who looked mildly like Justin Timberlake
10) I have a nose piercing
11) I once convinced my best friend I was a Vampire (best day of my life)
Dashing Deep Thoughts
Hope you enjoyed reading my post :)
Life can get daunting sometimes., especially when everything piles on like the sizable amount of dishes that you’ve left in your kitchen since last Sunday. In situations like that, it’s very easy to lose yourself. Whilst on the one hand you have so much stuff to do… The sheer amount of it leaves you exasperated on the couch, most likely with a tub of Ben and Jerrys ice cream. Sound familiar?
As a student, I can guarantee that my life is currently racing along the tracks with no brakes…I have hardly any time for myself. I look at the bags under my eyes and can’t help but feel helpless at myself. I’m an engineering student. My degree owns me. There’s nothing more to say. Still, I enjoy it. There’s this incredible sense of satisfaction when I derive a fluids equation, trust me, even nerds would find that nerdy! I love my course and yes, it’s a dysfunctional relationship but I can’t let go.
I say that and it seems as if all I think about is my course. Whilst that’s true for majority of the day…sometimes I need a break from it all. I just need to let myself out of this continuous cycle of work, sleep and eat. On a side note, whilst writing this post, I’ve started to realise just how similar degrees are to relationships and being in both I can tell you that it’s important to give yourself some personal space. Even if it’s just few hours to yourself. You need to let yourself breathe otherwise you’ll soon find yourself asphyxiated by the workload…
This weekend, as rare as it sounds, I decided to follow my own advice and take a break. I went to Durham to visit a friend and had a brilliant time. I could have stayed at home and watched several episodes of house but that doesn’t give me a break from my work or my life. I’m still inside the closed walls and I just don’t feel like I’m allowing myself time to be myself. One of the things I enjoy doing is travelling and seeing the world. So you can imagine that staying at home makes me incredibly agitated. I want to go out. I want to see places!
So Durham was exactly what I needed. The air was refreshing and the view was fantastic. Durham is such a beautiful little place. In fact, I felt I had time travelled to the time of kings and queens and almost expected knights in the market square. I was bitterly disappointed.
I felt that because I had taken that time off from work I could return to it feeling a lot more motivated. I was ready to start again. Based on this, I’ve decided I’m going to allow myself personal time. I can’t afford trips to different parts of England, partly because I just don’t have the time to do so, but I can afford two-weekly creative saturday mornings at the local coffee shop… I usually work at coffee shops but I’ve always wanted to read or draw there. It’s such a creative atmosphere. So let’s see!
Comfortably? Luxurioisly? Simplistically?
Actually the answer is not that simple. The reason is that all of these things are dependent on a persons personal view in life. It all comes down to what do you want to spend the rest of your life doing…
I could argue with hundreds of people about their choices in life. For me, it’s been very straightforward because I like to have a definition. For me, it’s always been about experiencing the world and choosing a path that allows me to make a difference in the world. I know I’m going to die someday and I want to die having been content with the life I’ve lived to the best of my ability. What I mean by that is, all the circumstances that I could have controlled, I want to ensure I do something that’s worth it. Again, that means I want to make a change in the lives of people whether it is by teaching, by engineering sustainable designs, or by working at a orphanage home in Africa. It doesn’t matter what I do, how skilled my job is, how much money I earn as long as I am constantly on that one path. Because that’s what I’m all about…
But hang on a minute… Does money really not matter to me?
This is what really bugs me and it’s something I can’t get my head around… My friend and I used to have several break downs at college because we kept trying to fight the “system” but the system kept finding us. By “system” we mean to say the say the way the world works. How we are expected to get a job, earn money and settle in a home, how the government runs. And basically, we are all part of a system…a set of laws that govern our lives. whether we want to leave or stay in them, our freedom of choice is extremely limited because there is no freedom. It’s best explained with an example: Tomorrow if I wake up and leave university I can’t do that… Your right in thinking that I’m perfectly capable of leaving my university…that’s true…but I have consequences to suffer. I won’t get a job that I can sustain my family with…similarly, once I graduate, I will have to get a job because otherwise how am I going to survive in the world? Where am I going to get money from?
So I realised that I couldn’t escape the future. What was coming was inevitable… But I still didn’t want to lose my passion, my attitude and my dreams. Maybe there’s a way to do both? And I think that’s the best way forward here…whilst on the one hand I know I have to earn enough money to survive, I don’t just want that to govern my life. I still want to be able to do many many things that are not dependent on money and I hope that one day I will be able to do that…
That’s the reason why I think it’s important to understand that money is not a solid possession. It flows from pocket to pocket. Money is simply a means of buying something or doing something. Then why should one accumulate it in a bank?
Oh oh. And we have reached another barrier! Am I suggesting we should just throw away cash? That would be incredibly stupid! Because on the one hand, yes, there is a possibility that you might die tomorrow but there is a greater possibility that you are going to live. And if you’ve just used up everything you need to survive the month, you’ve put yourself in an incredibly tight situation!
So actually… On the one hand, you should give yourself the freedom to live on the edge, to go out, to experience the world…but with caution because you want to plan for the future too! And that’s where people struggle the most. What is enough? How much should one save and still spend? In my situation, I have to think if after I pay the bills, mortgage, living costs, will I have enough money to travel to a country on a volunteering trip?
I guess, we just have to realise we can’t have everything! We have to take things slowly and make small changes… But definitely make time for ourselves. I don’t want to live miserably. But with careful planning, I definitely think it’s possible to work with the system here and yet, look back on your life and say you’ve done well for yourself…
Currently, I’m a first year student studying engineering in London. For me, going to university has always been a path I wanted to pursue. I consider myself to be someone that loves the prospect of learning and I’ve always enjoyed school and college. I have hated it at times, yes, and I have wanted to give up education and travel, yes…but majority of the times I enjoy being exposed to knew things.
When I found out I was accepted in university, especially the university of my choice, I jumped excitedly in the air. This was it. This was the moment. University! I can finally do it.
I dreamt about how engineering would be. In my mind, I had the perfect professors. Finally I could be with experts in the field and I knew that they would have the best explanations. Finally I could engage in deep, long discussions with teachers and learn so much about different physical and engineering applications.
I imagined a course lecturer being a person of character, of thrilling passion…a person that drove me forward to study my field further. I imagined practical engineering…I thought maybe my lecturer will be someone that forgets about books and talks about the physics and the maths. I thought he/she would be able to answer anything we wanted to know.
Most of all, I thought the lecturer would be free to talk about whatever he/she wanted to teach that day and truly explain the topic.
Unfortunately, what I experienced was the exact opposite. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I don’t like lectures. I don’t like the thought of pointless noise for hours and hours. What’s there to learn if someone just talks at you? Perhaps I prefer discussions. I like the thought of a lecture of my dreams. Where instead of telling us what goes on, we are asked to question what goes on. I like a lecture where I’m engaging myself with the course like I’m supposed to do.
I mean… Are lectures supposed to interest me or bore me to death?
As time went on, I learned to be more pro-active in my lectures. I focused more, I took notes. But all that did in my opinion was get stuff in my head. I still didn’t feel excited. Truth is, whenever a new topic was introduced there was no passion! If my lecturers didn’t feel the passion for the subject, then why teach it?
So I thought, maybe its just my university. Turned out, all my friends studying engineering or any other degree in any university felt the same…
So I accepted my faith. Lectures were meant to be boring, I guess. But I don’t like this. I feel like we should encourage the lecturers to be more passionate for their subject…teach me the theory! Discuss with me the flow of air around a wing. Tell me about how a beam bends…don’t just do the question as if its something you have to do…
Maybe that’s why I don’t think lectures are a good idea for practical subjects. We want to learn what’s happening… Maybe we need a different approach here? Any thoughts??
PS: I still love my course and my university… I only meant to question the style of teaching in this post.