Sunday, April 23, 2006


Sometimes we all feel down. "Man, I’m so tired of studying. Why am I doing this anyways?"

I was having one of those moments while lying in my bed after finishing a lecture set. Then I remembered a story I heard from a professor (Dr. Dean Tripp) at my university. I don't remember the details – I'm sure someone will correct me somewhere, like in the comments section – but I’ll give you what I remember.

There was a promising young man in high school, definitely bound for university and greater things. After enrolling, his long-time girlfriend got pregnant. He did what he had to and dropped out to take a crappy job and support his new family.

I don’t remember how long of a period there was in between, but eventually things got a little more stable. This young man wanted a university education. He more than wanted it, he craved it.

However, there were some problems: He hadn't been enrolled in school for so long. No university would take him. This did not stop him.

He went to the administration office everyday, and just stayed there. He politely greeted the admissions officer, but not did not go anywhere. After a long period of this, the woman (officer) finally gave in. She let him enter on a probationary basis with a smaller course load; if he slipped up, he was toast.

Well of course he excelled, he was so driven. He eventually went on to receive his Bachelor of Sciences, then a Masters and eventually a PhD. That man went on to teach at Queen’s University and give many lectures. All of this while developing quite a student fan base.

That man was Dean Tripp.

Whoa, I’ll let that sink in.

So, I'm thinking to myself: Self, what would you have done if you didn't get into university? Well, I would probably have to work. But I know I wouldn't be content there. As much as exams can get me down sometimes, I still love learning. Acquiring new knowledge drives me.

If I had a choice between university or not, I would very quickly choose university. But what if it meant working hard? What if it meant some unpleasant courses? Would it be worth it?

Hell yes. A thousand times over, yes. I am extremely grateful that I am in a nice university with nice (and attractive) people. I am glad the content is challenging. If it was easy to the point of boredom, then I wouldn’t even be learning.

We should realize how lucky we all are. Even if you aren’t in university, look at what you do have. Like most of my posts, this goes much farther than the small world of academia.

I thought I lost my wallet today. So as I was walking back to the cafeteria through the rain, after walking halfway home (I was soaked), I started thinking to myself. At least I have a wallet to lose. I'm not even that screwed if I don't find it. And I have a jacket on (no hat though). No one has even tried to punch me in the groin. Things are pretty good.

Well, my wallet was lying on the ground in the cafeteria, right where I was sitting earlier. Everything was still in there.

Gratefulness: It can be hard to remember, especially in the hard times; however, if you had to choose again would you choose differently? I wouldn't.

If you would, maybe it’s time to change now; but that's for another post.

Excuse me, but I have to make the most of my choice to go to university.

Thank goodness.

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