Oh the wondrous mind

Today I arrived home from my restful vacation in Chicago, Illinois. Though an unfortunate inevitability, it is simply a fact of life that all good things, including vacations, must eventually come to an end. The trip could not easily be summed up and still done justice. Many thanks to mom and dad for helping pay for it. Thankfully I have tons of photos of the city with which to remember the time-honored architecture.

In an effort to avoid studying for my imminent microeconomics midterm on Monday I have been watching various interviews with the great minds of our time. I will include two of my favourites at the end of the post. It got me thinking about what I truly want to do with my education. Now, up to this point I have been pretty solidly convinced that a history major is the right choice for me. I have always loved history and literature and was intending to major in one whilst minoring in the other. However, watching these interviews with these great(albeit scientific) minds made me wonder if studying the past is really my interest. Despite my fondness for the narrative stylings of both history and literature I wonder if something more current is not worth considering. This year I have taken courses in psychology, philosophy, chemistry, French, east Asian film studies and economics in addition to my history and literature classes. Each has been an experience unto itself.

Psychology was a breezy course last term for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is a very intriguing subject, the human mind and consciousness. Who isn’t interested in the inner workings of the mind? Nobody, that’s who. Also, the pseudo-science that is psychology(at least at the intro level) made for a very easy A+. However, despite the agreeableness of my prof and his entertaining lectures, psychology seems to me a science built upon soft ground. Despite PET scans, functional MRI technology and other various means used to satisfy the empirical burden of science, I feel it is far too general and inconsistent in many rights. Though, after watching the TED lecture(posted 2nd below) it seems psychology may have spiritual benefits worth exploring.

Philosophy and I did not get along nicely. Perhaps it was the 600 person class or the surprisingly closed-minded prof but it was not gellin’. I will probably take a political philosophy class some day down the road, but for now Plato can keep his forms.

French has been functional, but certainly not fun. I am undecided at this point whether or not to continue it next year. I thought I would be needing it more here, but due to the anglo bubble that is McGill it seems unnecessary. The only way I would truly improve my oral skills would be to immerse myself somewhere and 3 hours a week is simply not enough.

Chemistry and east Asian film are definitely not being considered for majors, those courses were just selected for interest’s sake (a condition they have thoroughly satisfied)

My first run in with Economics was with Milan in Canada’s Wonderland. While all the others were riding some hellish coaster he explained to me the principal of Supply and Demand using popcorn, if I recall correctly, as an example. I knew it wouldn’t be my last run in with the tricky stuff and although it is both interesting and useful, I simply do not wish to commit my neurons to a science dedicated to greed and moolah.

So really, history and literature do seem like my best options at the moment. Sometimes you gotta talk(or write) these things out to prioritize ’em correctly. Either way, I got time, time, time.

s $$ out,
sash

Very interesting videos:

Stephen Hawking being interviewed by PBS’s Charlie Rose:

TED Talk – Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful stroke of insight


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8 Comments

Filed under Art, Holidays, Internet, Movies, School, Science

8 responses to “Oh the wondrous mind

  1. oleh

    Good on you for exploring the different opportunities that you have and then considering and taking them. It seems that you are doing so more widely and better than I did. You seem to also have a better idea that you have time.

  2. Alena

    Both of those interviews were so fascinating. The study of the brain has always intrigued me; I wish that I had more scientific knowledge. One day, something at school or in life will really grip you and you will know what you must do to fulfill your life. As you say, you have lots of time, and there is a lots to learn from just being.

  3. semisane

    Eloquently put mom.

  4. Alysson

    I saw the stroke one last year, and found it really really fascinating. I’ve always found it astonishing how strong yet how delicate humans are. Besides, the Brain is hugely interesting just on it’s own because it’s the only body part that can study itself. On another note, I’m looking forward to summer, seeing everyone again, and cheering with ridiculous obnoxiousness at this year’s school play.

  5. semisane

    Oh man, I am so excited for the summer Alysson, you have no idea! I am truly jealous that you get to see the school play. Cheer twice as hard pour moi.

  6. Alysson

    I will cheer so loudly.. that people will move away during intermission.

  7. Robbie

    The other night I saw a dude in a “Come on, Feel the Illinoise” shirt. It was green and not as cool as yours. Missing you as always
    -Rob

  8. oleh

    Time is running out for a blog entry in March.

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