Posts tagged ‘environment’

February 20, 2012

Gone before you got around to missing it

After postponing  it for probably half a decade, I finally decided to go through our old CD collection with my dad. We were supposed to sort through all of it and see what’s for keeping.

I haven’t touched those CDs in years, so when we finally started going through all of them, all the cover art started giving me a veritable flood of nostalgia – games, movies and music from quite literally the previous millennium, from various phases of my life, each title releasing a small cloud of memories. There were a lot of unmarked CDs too, so I knew that there were many, many hours ahead of sorting through them and finding even more god knows what sort of old stuff I used to consume, or never got around to; and I was more and more looking forward to it.

We put probably a hundred CDs in the designated garbage bag, and almost twice as many discs in another, identical bag, for later sorting through. You can see where this is going.

When I realized I threw out the wrong bag, the feeling was so unusual that I went pretty much straight through the 5 stages of grief and into acceptance.

It’s like I’ve been given a typical script from everyday life, but with some of the bits tumbled around so that everything is a bit off and you get a twist ending. There was this whole new parallel universe, so to speak, a world of potentiality in which I was to indulge, coming into being. And, just as quickly as it came, it was gone.

What I’m sort of trying to preserve now is the memory of that range of feelings, the sudden rush of happiness coupled with the abrupt disappearance of that world of possibilities. It’s like winning a small lottery (which you in fact had all the time) and then loosing it all over again. Apart from that big lesson of sudden gain and loss, every time I think about the experience, I feel like I can learn something new.

Here’s one of the lessons I don’t want to end up in the garbage bag. Lately I’ve been trying to define some approach to keeping my Japanese alive, maybe even gain some ground with the kanji.  Among those now-gone CDs were also a few anime compilations, which inspired a new rush of motivation for studying the language when I found them. Now they’re gone and the motivation went pretty much with them.

If I know that an adequate environment is one of the important things for learning and motivation, should I really wait for blind chance to offer me with one? Isn’t there this thing called the internet where you can get pretty much anything you need? Why didn’t I do that earlier: download all the shows and  then get around to deciding what I would like to do with my Japanese?


August 11, 2009

Wrestling with intents – Why you want to check your email right now

I was tying my shoelaces, getting ready to go out and buy some food, when I realized I haven’t charged my mp3 player in a while. I looked up, and on the table was my laptop and, sticking out at places beneath the papers, my headphones’ cable, to which my player is attached.

“I’ll plug it in when I get back”, I first thought.

“But wait, why don’t I plug it in now?”

“Nah, I’ll do it later. Besides, I need to find the cable for charging it.”

“Wait, it’s in the bag behind me. If I could just turn around…”

“No, no, don’t turn around. Look, you said you were going shopping right now, so why don’t you just charge it when you get back?”

And that’s when it hit me. There really was no reason not to plug in my mp3 player right now – in fact, plugging it in right now would mean it would charge faster. But the strength of the simple intent of “you said you were going shopping right now” was strong enough to demand that I leave right now.

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