一件小事／A small mess
I have forever been not sure if I want to attend PhD, but she always wants me to.
Step 1 for Chinese to PhD: prospective student email.
Step 1 for my mom: summer school / exchange. Well, I don’t want to go back home during the summer anyways, so I applied for two random schools that are not likely to admit me.
Step 2 for Chinese to PhD: find an agency.
My mom hurried to sign an contract with the agency. And now that I am accepted to Stanford Summer Session and 1/3 of the LSE Summer School…I do not know how to react, but I want to go.
My mom: You will not be able to graduate in two years lah! Don’t go!
Also my mom: You are Superman! You can do everything!
I am speechless.
Prompt: Stanford students are known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or experience that you found intellectually engaging. The statement may be a maximum of 300 words in length and must be written in English.
Being a social person has been a huge challenge for me. And yet, a major
source of my creativity comes from people — interacting or simply
During the last year in college, I developed a hobby to walk down the streets and to look at everyone. Not just walking, for hours, crossing multiple districts along underground lines. The initial purpose was to cure my anxiety, but as soon as I got more engaged, my brain started to process all the information automatically. I found myself reasoning about people on the streets, their activities, mood, and even background. It was more or less a meditation, but instead of reaching inwards I searched outwards, and instead of resting my body, I kept moving. Oftentimes after the walking, the album on my phone was full of snapshots, and my mind full of new ideas about essays and, at that time, my bachelor’s thesis.
The thesis was a formalized analysis of human behaviour in terms of self-consciousness, highly inspired by my fellow humans. In addition to an economics student, through years of experience of a self-proclaimed photographer and blogger, I found the representation of wisdom and intellect sparkling in the tiniest places like greetings and coffee break conversations. They are not even slightly less valuable than in papers or discussion at conferences.
I wish I were more sensitive to these forms of daily intellect, part of the reason why I keep training the little anthropologist and artist me in my heart, why I never stop walking from countries to countries. Would you like to be my next stop, Stanford?