What a Wonderful World
Normally, I’m the type of person who always finds themselves stuck in the labyrinth of the computer: scouring through all the ambiguously named files, looking for something with some generic Apple-generated title. Most of the time I end up getting distracted by other files (i.e. SCIENCE LAB REPORT.docx), which sadly bring me back to my mortal duties; but sometimes, on that rare, beautiful occasion one comes across something they had totally forgotten about for a long period of time, I find things that make me feel very nostalgic and ‘time-to-divulge-my-waterfall-of-emotions-on-my-Wordpress’-like. Such as now, I confess.
Although it was short (and overshadowed by a different topic), I did mention in one of my previous posts (you can find it here) the summer program I attended during the summer this year. Looking back at it now, I didn’t serve it enough justice. Because the experience in itself was something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to articulate within the constrictions of a blog entry, nevermind in cohesive speech. There were just so many dimensions to it it’s hard to let it all out.
Anyway, as I was looking through my computer today for an appropriate folder to place some screenshots of my roomie in (not creepy at all!), I came across my application for Phillips Exeter Academy’s Summer Session 2013. Reading it again, I was pretty much indifferent to the main body – after all, it was the generic ‘Hi, I’m ____ and I’m interested in ___’ application loads of us have to do at least once in our lives – but then I came to the section in which I talked about why I wanted to attend Summer School. Which, once again, wasn’t all that special, but my last sentences especially struck me in light of what I’ve seen and done in the past two months:
[I want] to meet inspirational and motivated individuals from all over the world, to communicate with them in an all-inclusive classroom environment utilizing the ultimate method of effective discussion, and to spend days, even weeks, talking with them about their families, their language, their cultures and even universalities such as mathematics… the experience would be out of this world (literally). Bonding with these people and learning with them will open my eyes to what lies beyond the boundaries of my home; and although Hong Kong is undisputedly a very diverse city, I still believe the world has so much more to offer.
Which it does.
It’s been a month and a half since I came back from Exeter, and my entire perception of the world has been transformed. I can tangibly feel myself being more open-minded, and hearing about the political situation in places like Venezuela, Turkey actually make me stop and feel something inside. Because I’ve met people who’ve been through it, thick or thin, and it makes me wonder how they are and how interesting it is to think that prior to the summer, countries such as Turkey was as foreign to me as anything could possibly be.
But I think one of the most palpable ideas of cross-continental understanding manifests itself into something we’ve all heard of (and detest, at times): time zones. Nowadays I’m constantly converting between the time here and the time in Utah, where my beautiful roomie is right now. I can’t stop, either. After our extensive time zone discussions and consequent Skype ‘bookings’ with one another, calculating her time has become as normal as looking at my time.
Nowadays, time zones to me aren’t random figures that happen to be different all across the globe. To me, time zones symbolize that our world has no stopping and starting point. We’re all part of one continuous ribbon, threading ourselves over and over again, over and over each other, until we’ve weaved this intricate construction of people, places and time. The world doesn’t ‘stop’ when I enter my REM-stage or whatever. Somewhere across the world, in somewhere such as Utah, my roommate is eating American candy (candy that happens to be unavailable in Hong Kong) on a hotel bed in the middle of the Utahn mountains. Now isn’t that strange to think about?
But I like it. I like knowing I’m not the only one, that we’re all interconnected and interrelated and correlated to each other in so many ways. And that the world doesn’t end when I do – it’ll go on, forever and ever. Oh and, most importantly, that there are no boundaries to our days, to our nights. Staying up until 3AM talking to Casi until my eyes feel super heavy, seeing as we observe a 10 hour time difference? Very unhealthy, you may say, but it makes me so happy.