linguaphile

I’m not where I dreamed of in the first place.

Exactly a year ago, I was this girl who didn’t give a second thought about the engineering field. I’ve always loathed physics since the 7th grade. I loathe anything physics-related. Physics just never makes any sense to me. I was this girl who was very keen on the Law. I love reading law-related novels, I love watching legal TV series, and I love listening to the discussion between my mom and my granddad (my granddad was a district attorney and my mom is a law graduate). Even before High School started, I’d been certain about what I wanted to do in life. (I thought) I had everything well-planned. And everyone seemed to be so supportive towards it.

One day, my parents told me to go after what I really want, and the next they told me otherwise. It was one of the darkest and the most doubtful times of my life. It was like I didn’t know where I was headed. I was lost. But I knew I had to decide.

And now, here’s this girl-that-was-once-lost, immersed in the engineering world, surrounded by unbelievably foreign terms of engineering and still attempting to adjust.

At first it was frightening, it felt like you were about to jump from a very high place, blindfolded, without any idea of what’s down there. A lot of questions kept emerging out of my mind. What if I made the wrong choice? What if it’s not what I really want? And there came the doubtful time of my life again. But as the months passed by, those questions started vanishing one by one. 

I learned that I am not here without reason. I am here because of something, I am headed somewhere. I learned that It’s okay to doubt sometimes, it’s okay to question. It’s okay to lose motivation or lose focus a little sometimes.

"Even the elite of the most elite in any expected field have periods of time where they struggle, where they question things."

My dearly beloved mother told me that it’s okay to question because sometimes you have to lose yourself a little to truly find what you are destined to be. If you know what you are going to become, then having a bumpy road at some point in your life is needed. It is needed because it tests your perseverance, it tests your commitment.

I may not be where I dreamed of in the first place, I may not be able to see the big picture yet, but for that I’m glad. Like a friend of mine told me, “Had you not taken the plunge into this road then you would never have known what you really wanted after all, Chandrika.”

Solid science sometimes devolves into pseudoscience, but the imprimatur of being science nevertheless may remain. No better example of this is the popular “left brain/right brain” narrative about the specializations of the cerebral hemispheres. According to this narrative, the left hemisphere is logical, analytic, and linguistic whereas the right is intuitive, creative, and perceptual. Moreover, each of us purportedly relies primarily on one half-brain, making us “left-brain thinkers” or “right-brain thinkers.”

This characterization is misguided, and it’s time to put it to rest.

Two major problems can be identified at the onset:

First, the idea that each of us relies primarily on one or the other hemisphere is not empirically justifiable. The evidence indicates that each of us uses all of our brain, not primarily one side or the other. The brain is a single, interactive system, with the parts working in concert to accomplish a given task.

Second, the functions of the two hemispheres have been mischaracterized. Without question, the two hemispheres engage in some different kinds of information processing. For example, the left preferentially processes details of objects we see whereas the right preferentially processes the overall shape of objects we see; the left preferentially processes syntax (the literal meaning), the right pragmatics (the indirect or implied meaning) and so forth. Our two hemispheres are not like our two lungs: One is not a “spare” for the other, redundant in function. But none of these well-documented hemispheric differences come close to what’s described in the popular narrative.

It is time to move past the popular but incorrect left brain/right brain narrative.

Psychologist Stephen M. Kosslyn, director of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, is among the 176 prominent scientists who answered this year’s Edge Question: ”What scientific idea is ready for retirement?”

Also see this animated case against the left/right brain divide, then look back on previous compendiums of famous scientists’ answers to the annual Edge Questions, including “What scientific concept will improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” (2012) and “What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?” (2013).

(via explore-blog)

(Source: , via explore-blog)

I dont seem to understand the correlation between this painting and calculus.

I dont seem to understand the correlation between this painting and calculus.

‘Being a fan doesn’t mean being there from the start… It means being there ‘til the end.’

(Source: lokilaufeysxn, via craccolaqueen)

“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people — people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

– E. B. White (via excessivebookshelf)

(via date-a-girl-who-reads)

“Biology’s cruel joke goes something like this: As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Suddenly, going to bed at nine or ten o’clock at night isn’t just a drag, but close to a biological impossibility. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise. Adults, meanwhile, have little-to-no melatonin in their bodies when they wake up. With all that melatonin surging through their bloodstream, teenagers who are forced to be awake before eight in the morning are often barely alert and want nothing more than to give in to their body’s demands and fall back asleep. Because of the shift in their circadian rhythm, asking a teenager to perform well in a classroom during the early morning is like asking him or her to fly across the country and instantly adjust to the new time zone — and then do the same thing every night, for four years.”

codiannthomsen:

I just found the first free library that I’ve ever seen in person on a hike we’re all taking to the ocean. This has got to be the most charming thing I’ve ever seen.

codiannthomsen:

I just found the first free library that I’ve ever seen in person on a hike we’re all taking to the ocean. This has got to be the most charming thing I’ve ever seen.

codiannthomsen:

First visit ever to the Pacific Ocean.

codiannthomsen:

First visit ever to the Pacific Ocean.