Things I Love

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Yesterday at Kirkland House (where Mark Zuckerberg stayed!!) after a FIP lunch.

1. Sundays on hammocks in hot Singaporean-like Cambridge weather. Hurrah!

2. Learning. The room is warm. My pulse is throbbing at an almost manic pace. In a hitched breath’s moment of unconscious cerebration, it occurs to me that I am surrounded by knowledge coming to life — in eager minds, raw stories, bustling thoughts, and this palpable sense of convivencia and of shared humanity that emerges from within all of us when we discuss vanished worlds in ancient texts (Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, Poetics, Symposium…). Unbelievable, but somehow it is happening, in this time and place, in this infinite now. (I am really loving my Humanities seminar under Professor David Carrasco — here’s a link to his Wikipedia page! Every time I walk out of class, some ineffable change washes over me; I’m not sure what it is, but I feel just a bit more comfortable with uncertainty and a little bit more certain about what gives me meaning.)

3. Making stone tools in archaeology section (Anthro 1010). This satisfies Math?! Blessed.

Trying to refit the fragments of a stone.

4. Yesterday, I went to church for Sunday Mass for the first time in a long while. Some of my close friends may know about my uncertainty and burning questions with regards to religion’s answers to ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘How should we live our lives?’ As a kid, I encountered God in the Catholic tradition due to my parents and upbringing, but in recent years, I have leaned towards labeling myself as spiritual instead of Catholic. But, in a strange turn of events, I found myself seeing this age-old faith with new eyes after many years of estrangement. Thank you to each of you who are giving me a hand in this self-exploration 🙂

5. Drowning in books (is there anything happier than drowning in books?). There are a few which I’d like to spotlight because, without college, I would possibly never touch them:

  • Sappho’s If Not, Winter (for Humanities 10): basically the Taylor Swift of ancient Greeks (102: sweet mother I cannot work the loom/I am broken with longing for a boy by slender Aphrodite)
  • Anne Carson’s Nox (for my Translation seminar): a handmade book in a box, an artifact, a translation, an accordion, an epitaph for an estranged and deceased brother, a raw and almost manipulative scrapbook of his life… It defies categorization, bursts with torn photographs, yellowed notes, and an overwhelming, fatigued sense of loss that echoes in Latin poem Catullus 101 (which Carson translates).

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    Look at this gorgeous work of art.

  • David Macaulay’s Motel of the Mysteries (for my Archaeology class): it’s honestly hilarious. In the year 4022, a random dude chances upon a hotel from the 2000s and thinks it’s a tomb. He treats the toilet seat as a sacred urn and all kinds of nonsensical, nutty misinterpretations of the past ensue. But, maybe, if ancient civilizations read about our current account of the past, they would be laughing in their graves.
  • For my fiction writing workshop, our lovely professor Claire Messud was on a book tour last week in London so she couldn’t come to class, but her husband did and he is James Wood!! He has been called the best literary critic of his generation and he writes book reviews for The New Yorker. The fact that I get to be taught by such incredible people sometimes blows my mind.

6. Roommates who squeal with me on Saturday nights about the WEIRDEST things. 😇

At slinky silent disco (???)

7. A weekend that included a wondrous burger at Harvard Square (Alden & Harlow), going to Chinatown in Boston for xiaolongbao and authentic bubble tea, singing karaoke, rewatching The Social Network, a lot of ice-cream, and good catch-ups with friends that have been swallowed by the monster called Harvard Life.

8. Facetiming/Skyping/Video-calling people I love, such as my parents ❤ ❤ ❤ If you are my good friend and we’ve not Facetimed, TEXT ME NOW.

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Until next week!

To all my dear friends across the globe: how have you guys been? I miss you and I love you.

xoxo,

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13 thoughts on “Things I Love

  1. Anonymous says:

    (We’ve technically Facetimed but) WE SHOULD FACETIME AGAIN 🙆🏻 Great to hear that you’re enjoying academic life in Harvard!! Makes me want to be a humans student and do anthropology/read all those books too hahahahahaha maybe I’ll try one day 🌝 I think I might try Motel of Mysteries though it sounds really interesting. Also it’s only been a few weeks and you’re doing karaoke how fast hahahahaha tru-blu k girl 🌝👍🏼

    Like

    • wongsl98 says:

      (We’ve technically Facetimed but) WE SHOULD FACETIME AGAIN 🙆🏻 Great to hear that you’re enjoying academic life in Harvard!! Makes me want to be a humans student and do anthropology/read all those books too hahahahahaha maybe I’ll try one day 🌝 I think I might try Motel of Mysteries though it sounds really interesting. Also it’s only been a few weeks and you’re doing karaoke how fast hahahahaha tru-blu k girl 🌝👍🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sel says:

        Let’s do it ❤ honestly, anthropology is not my favorite & I never thought I'd do archaeology & like it! But I would like to write a novel about tomb-raiders & Liu Xiu one day 😉 Read MoM!! It's HILARIOUS.
        And YES, karaoke is the love of my life 🤗 I'm coming back in Dec, so KTV outing OK!!!

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  2. tianyi207 says:

    Your post makes me so excited for my term to start too! It feels so nice when studying is enjoyable. The variety of food at Harvard just seems amazing O.o Also, James Wood /Claire Messud!! Writer and lit critic like a match made in heaven (so sweet!!) P.s. every time I see the word Cambridge I get strangely thrilled hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sel says:

      No one is going to like studying more than you HAHA Be loosely, fully, wondrously thrilled because soon you’ll be THERE! I’m so sure you’re going to thrive at Cambridge ❤

      Like

    • Sel says:

      Sometimes Cambridge gets as hot as Singapore, other times it’s freezing (and it’s only fall — what am I going to do in winter? 😱 ) miss you HUGS let me update you on thanksgiving xx

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for lessons to start so I won’t feel so miserable here 😦 Still got 5days to orientation week and 2 weeks to lessons. Sobs I came to London too early. I think I can already start writing a blog post called ‘9 things i hate’… Maybe I should try Nox also to make myself feel even more depressed. Yep definitely in the mood for things that make me cry.
    Hope you continue to find more things you love there! Next time I will write a more positive comment because now i cannot find anything to be cheerful about ._.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sel says:

      hugs actually reading sad books is a cathartic experience – you get some perspective on how much worse your life could be and how in some sense the current state has tiny blessings that need a keen eye to find; I think try exploring London? And finding some sort of way to process it all, even the boring idle restless bits. Sometimes, our lives are just in a state of waiting to begin, and that is okay because whatever awaits might be magical. So journal away!! Or blog!!! I would read it ❤

      Like

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