What makes History so mysterious?

28 05 2012

Dear World,

So the other day I was watching the History Channel with my dad and there was a program on about Da Vinci’s works and supposed predictions about the future of mankind. Now, I am not the biggest fan of conspiracy theories like these. In fact, I think that if we could bring Da Vinci back from the past, he would probably tell us to stop thinking so hard and reading into things and continue with progress. Da Vinci has been labeled a visionary. I would think he would be upset with us for dwelling on something we cannot change and not focus on what we can.

But I want to focus today on the ‘mystery’ of the past and what makes people want to know more about this mystery. It is well known that Da Vinci wrote backwards or reverse such that you needed a mirror to read it. And even if you did have a mirror, you would need to know Italian to understand it. And even if you did know Italian or had someone translate it for you, you would still be interpreting the words on paper. His work is so vaguely written … actually vague might be the wrong word…. hmmm His work is not as straightforward as he could have made it. In stead of writing his ideas and ‘predictions’ like this: ‘ In the future, giant waves will rise from the ocean floor and crash down on us harder than rain, destorying everything in its path’ or ‘Man will become more violent and kill each other with weapons of mass destruction’, Da Vinci phrased many of his writings in such a particular manner that we can’t have definite conclusions. We don’t even know if we can say ‘ he was bored so he just started writing’ ( it’s true, we can’t say that although many people that because Da Vinci was so revolutionary that his brain had to be working on something 24/7).

I think this lack of clear and precise documentation of ideas and thoughts and stories and writings of the past have lead to the present being so dull. Now, thoughts are written as clearly as possible so that everyone is on the same page. What I love about Da Vinci’s time is that, everyone can read a page and have different views about it because they all saw the content differently and that is mainly because language then was used beautifully that a piece of literature could be anything. Now a picture has a thousand words, I’m pretty sure back then one page resulted in a thousand or more thoughts.

I love that about the past. May be it is because I know I am forever going to have to writ CLEAR PRECISE pieces of literature in present time. In the future, when people start studying us and our strange ways, kids might be so overwhelmed with the amount of documents we have of 2012 or may be schools may just skip over our era because we lack the mystery and possible conspiracy theories generations before us had. It would be a really sad day when someone decides we aren’t worth remembering because we did not have the same use of language and creativity and thinking as the generations before us had.

Go and think and write.

Then tell me about it.

Cheyenne





Going into Uni

24 05 2012

Dear World,

I am talking to a good friend of mine about University. We both are accepting respective universities and courses and I believe we are very happy about our choices. We were just saying how liberating University might actually be. Just the word of it takes my breath away. I know I might sound a bit dramatic about this and I pretty sure everyone reading this might think I am overestimating my experience in University but… I don’t know. It’s like finally meeting this abstract idea and knowing you are about to take that path…. is exciting… exhilarating.

It’s a new experience and I can’t wait to take it.

I will be more than happy to share everything I learn with you.

That’s why life is. A collection of all our lessons.

Cheyenne





Happy Happy Day

24 05 2012

Good Morning. *sings* GOOD MORNING!

Oh Is’n’t it a splendid morning? Such a happy happy day!

This is more of a personal post but I hope everyone doesn’t mind.

Sometimes you just need to celebrate extreme joy with the world. So I shall share.

I GOT INTO NUS ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES COURSE!!!!!

YAY!

Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting to for this!?!

 

….

….

YAY!!!!!!!!!

Have a happy day





Where else can we explore?

22 05 2012

From Ted: Nathan Wolfe: What’s left to explore?

Dear world,

Nathan Wolfe was posed with a question by a young girl in a lecture he gave and that was ‘ Where do we explore?’.

Wolfe goes on to suggest that we don’t have to go to the darkest caverns or the deepest oceans to explore our world. We just need to hit the zoom button… multiple times and realize that there is an entire jungle of the undiscovered just laying on our skin’s surface.

I actually like this idea, which I think is why I decided to enter the biological field, hoping to either pursue a career in marine life or may be even the biological fundamentals that surround marine life. (I really like Biology and I love the sea- what better way to combine the two?)

Kids grow up thinking that ‘exploring’ needs to involve the sense of sight, mainly. When you move into a new neighborhood or visit a new playground, I am pretty sure your parent’s told you to go explore, have fun. ‘Go and play’ they said and touching wet sand verses dry sand while at the beach, or finding a strange looking rock on the playground was exploring, was fun. The term ‘exploring’ comes with a strong association to ‘play’, to ‘fun’, to the ‘thrill of discover’ some of you would like to term it.

We lose this. Sadly, we lose this. We start thinking that may be it isn’t our ‘job’ to be an explorer. I am a huge fan of Indian Jones and sometimes I wonder where Indie gets the funds for this adventures, then I remember he also lectures in a university. Same thing with Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon. So everyone who wants to be a decent explorer or adventure should have a PHD and always, always guest lecture at a university.

But then, being an ‘explorer’ becomes elite. We can’t really have that.

I was Nayang Technological University (NTU) last Saturday with my parents for an informal tea session with the professors and the students in the course I was offered and just being in the institution reminds you that you don’t really know everything. May be we need to accept that perhaps we know very little or even close to nothing. That way we never stop exploring.

Take your kids outside. Tell them to put down the Xbox or game boy or whatever ( yeah I’m not a big gamer) and go touch something. Never mind the antibacterial wipes. They need to build an immune system! Just let them pretend to find a treasure chest buried under a tree or may be find the fountain of youth by a river somewhere. They will thank you.

Happy exploring.

Cheyenne

 





What Everyone Needs

21 05 2012

From Palm Trees and Bare Feet: Every Person Need ____

Dear World,

Every Person Needs____________

Every person needs a hug. My philosophy for life. Everyone needs a hug. This most basic human interaction is the most intimate action in the world, or at least I think so. Ask anyone I know, they will say I am the master of hugs. I give them out for free at every opportunity I get. Sometimes the briefest of hugs is amasing. It’s a sign of comfort and support. And it’s so simple.

So  hug the person next to you. They might really appreciate it.

Cheyenne





Dark Shadows movie review

21 05 2012

Dear World,

Disclaimer: This is my response to the Movie,Dark Shadows.

Sigh.  In one sentence: I thought it would be funnier. I got lost after Victoria saw the ghost girlfriend the second time. Dark Shadows was a tv show before it was turned into a movie. I think with the numerous subplots, it should have stayed a tv series. Too much going on for a movie. There are many answered questions, many loopholes in the story line. Not my cup of tea.

Minimum credit given to the actors but it’s not entirely their fault. With little of the actually plot showing through gave almost everyone no opportunity to showcase their talents.

I suppose for a quick laugh, it’s worth watching. But I think there were so many things to focus on, that I lost focus. Sorry.

Cheyenne





Being a Minority: My Response

14 05 2012

Dear World,

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook just today and I just had to read it. Please read it too before reading on. Click here.

Disclaimer: I don’t want to be racial here. I have nothing against any one of different races living in Singapore or in the world (but since the article linked above is specifically about Singapore, then this post will be more orientated about Singapore’s context).  I have no intention on taking out any anger or frustration on a group of people, particularly when it comes to race.  I would think I know better than that.

With that disclaimer out of the way and I hope you have the article (please, read it, it’s important), I bet a lot of you are wondering what race I am or how I’m a minority. I’m Eurasian, if you don’t follow my blog regularly. For those who are not familiar with the term, I’m mixed. Part European, Part Asian. That’s all I’m going to say. My ancestry is too complicated.

Eurasians only make up about 1-2% of the population, if I have my facts right. Ok, I tried looking for the actual percentage online but no one will give me a straight answer. Wikipedia said the percentage of ‘other races’ in Singapore in 2010 was 3.3% but includes other minority groups with the Eurasians. So for the sake of the argument, let’s take it as 1.5% of the Singapore population (this is just a rough estimation).

I agree with how Seker SB describe the situation. I know how it feels/felt like. Me and my friends got picked on in Secondary School.Sometimes people just don’t know how what they say affects people. But there is a part of me that likes being a ‘minority’.

Yes! I said it! I like being the minority in my country. I think you have more insight when you are the underdog or when people look down on you. Or at least you gain more insight and experience. There is something satisfying succeeding as a ‘minority’ in Singapore or in anywhere really.

Sure I might sound completely optimistic. Or possible immature – like I’ve been shield away from the racial comments. I haven’t. Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of racist comments- ‘All you do it party, at weddings, at dinners, at funerals’ ( I’m paraphrasing but thats the idea) or ‘Oh HEY! You are both Eurasian’. I hate that one. Just because my race makes up approximately 1.5% of the population doesn’t mean I know all 40,000 people! Or when people speak  in Chinese in front me. Trust me I’m going to learn Mandarin! ( I took Malay in school).

It may be because I am either very determined or very stubborn about this, but I like the idea of knowing I can beat the expectations set by my society. I love it in fact. It’s thrilling.

To quote Seker SB,

“whilst it was our choice to adapt and not make it an issue every single time we were insulted by word, deed, or omission, it certainly is not a choice we want our children to have to consider making.”

I was once asked if I have friends of different races and I go ‘yes’. Now that I think about it the three people I trust the most are Malay, Indian and Chinese ( in no particular order). My gang is multi-racial but most importantly, my group of friends are understanding.

I think no one can teach people to consider the feelings of others in different races except those of different races that are willing to befriend them. We have to break the cycle. We have to start somewhere.

There really isn’t anything else I can add. May be the only thing that can be said is said everyday by a wonder lady standing up in what she believes in. I will always  think this is her super hero catch pharse:

“Be kind to one another” – Ellen Degeneres

Sleep well, Singapore.

Cheyenne