Graduating Sweet

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May through June many eager students finish their credits and classes to finally break free the holds of a school and receive a diploma verifying their achievements and training that they spent years trying to obtain.  It’s a very happy time, though can be bittersweet because in it’s nature it represents an inevitable change in the world for a great many people.

This was how this year’s graduation felt, bittersweet. Never have I ever been so invested in the wellbeing of my upperclassmen as I have this past year.  I have been to a great many graduations, but this one was a send-off to many people who I have spoken to, connected to, and love. I sat there thinking about this as one after one, each of my friends got up to be honored for their great achievements of which they all should be extremely proud.  For a moment sitting there, I want them all to just stick around, for nothing to change, for next week just to be next week and not a path to something new.

I’m not an emotional person, I am extremely passionate but I am not one to tear up during these events. Why should I? I am so happy for these people to move forward with their lives, to find their new adventures and get on with their journeys. We still have our memories together right, they won’t forget these times together.  Yeah sure, a couple months or years from now they might get busy but it won’t change our relationship, regardless of how much longer it takes them to reply. They will all be meeting new people, learning new things, and being great in their own way and staying will only hold them back, and they need to fly in their own way because there so much for them in the skies ahead.

Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet, and if it hasn’t it won’t for a while. Probably not until after everything settles down and I recognize how much I have gotten used to their presence. Maybe after not being able to hear their laugh in the hall,  or being able to wander into the lab and talk about some far off idea, Maybe after starting to miss these strange conversations we would have, and missing the familiar faces I no longer see. I will miss them all in their own ways because they all mattered to me.

I am lucky, during graduation sat next to my friends who I have spent the last year with, working, growing, and laughing together. I will have them this next year as this stressful program continues to push us to the moment we are standing on stage graduating together. I am happy I still have them with me because if everyone left, I don’t know what I would do.

We will all see each other again, but my hope is when it comes time and I get up on that stage, that I am at least half as great as any of my friends I saw graduating today.

The Eventual Death Of The Universe

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Do you ever think about the heat death of the universe?
From the moment I learned about it in high school chemistry class, I reflect on it and what it means.  The heat death of the universe happens when all energy is expended when all matter has reached its equilibrium, and there is nothing left to do. It’s the ultimate end of everything because there’s nothing left, just the cold and the still.

Life and nature curve its way toward entropy, a chaotic system, without any help something that is orderly will slowly break down over time to little bits and pieces.  This happens until there is nothing left to do, and it will move on to something else. Nothing is immune to this effect, and if we want to build something or maintain it, we have to put an effort in, use up the energy to do so. This lost energy we can never get back and slowly it ticks us ever closer to the end.

I think about how this relates to people, the idea that our relationships or lives are these massive towers we build for ourselves.  To create these monuments in our lives we spend time and energy, and without time and energy, they simply wither away.  We try and sometimes maintain order in our lives, but all it takes is a little bit of disorder to throw us off our game.  Life is effortful, it takes a lot of energy to live the life we want to live.

Our bodies are made to conserve energy, to ration it properly, as if it were always in scarcity.  The truth of it is that people will always skew to doing the easier thing.  It’s within our nature to figure out the pattern to something and learn to cut down the process to its most essential.  That’s why patience and discipline, for the most part, are learned traits, not inate.  That’s also why when you hear about great peoples and their great actions, it’s not about what the result was, a lot of the time what they did was nothing more than a series of small, doable things, it’s more that they did it.  They pushed themselves beyond what peoples see as natural or the doable.  The push themselves to new heights because they are willing to continue to put in the energy to do so.
They are not afraid of building towers and having them fall willing in spite of that.

I think about the heat death of the universe and wonder if I can fight against it, even if by just a little for a little while.  To build a life that I expend this energy to create something more than what was there before.  To build and maintain relationships and a life that is in spite of the constant pull toward the comfortable and the easy.  I want to try at least, to become something more than this scarcity.

If I’m constantly worried about where my energy is going, I never am able to use it all for what really matters to me, living a good life the best way I can.

The Election and What Matters

I was initially going to spend my time to write about something other than the results of this election, but like many of you, I have been drawn into the whirlwind of reporting my thoughts and feelings.

This election has taken a lot of us by surprise. We are left with a country divided. This election has been one of the most derisive on record.  I can honestly say that the world won’t end in the next coming months, though things will change. What is most important is learning a lesson from the results of this election.

Some might be angry or sad, frustrated or uneasy, anxious or all of the above.  Others will be happy, excited, jubilant, and hopeful for the future. What matters is that we come together after this election.  We have to learn to understand our fellow American’s point of view. We can’t stay as a country so divided through any longer. I know it may not be your favorite thing to do, but we are a country together, we had the opportunity to vote for a leader, and we chose.  Why, and how it happened are confusing and puzzling. We can get into a flurry about it, throw up our arms, and never accept reality. It is here, and we have another choice to make. What do we do now?

My choice is to understand, to love, and to learn what it is that brought us here, so as to make my time-honored duty as a citizen possible. We need to fight the hate with love, and we fight the intolerance with understanding.  There are some battles that require us to do more than just talk but to stand up together as the country and speak with one voice.  We need to unite under a notion of the democratic system in which we live.

I hope that in the next coming months we can at least learn to become a country and work together once again.