‘I did it! I learnt how to rip my dvds and change their formats… and damn, it feels good.’ I leaned back on my chair with great satisfaction.
‘Is it easy to do?’ Jap Girl looked up from her work.
‘Yep, all I needed was to download Handbrake and follow the steps… now all I have to do next is figure out how I’m going to transfer all my cassette tapes into mp3 tracks… and I’ll be king!’ I laughed.
‘I noticed that about you… you like learning things,’ she said.
‘Do I? I mean, is it that obvious?’ I asked.
‘Oh yeah, you seem to get a thrill out of reading manuals, forums and seeking out solutions for little problems.’
She was right of course, I really do get excited when I find out how to do something new. It’s almost exhilarating.
‘But doesn’t everyone like learning? I mean, when you figure out some technical shit, or manage to solve issues with a little research, don’t you feel good?’
‘Not really, no.’ Jap Girl smiled, ‘I’d rather get someone to figure out the stuff for me, and then do it for me. Or at most, teach me. I think you like to set yourself little mountains to conquer… you are competitive that way.’
‘What? Me? Competitive?!’ I looked at her with feigned horror. ‘I am so NOT competitive!’
‘Oooh yes, you are!’ Jap Girl laughed loudly. ‘That you cannot deny.’
But I shall. I really never figured myself out to be someone with a competitive edge. But learning? Yes, that gets to me. I am so hungry for more, to learn more… and every single night, I want to go to bed satisfied having known, tasted or experienced something new. I think it just keeps me young.
After all… weren’t we all sponges when we were little? The world was fresher, its colours crisper, the sounds more resonant. It was as though life was all new, every single morning. And that is how I want to greet each day, with that sense of awe at how little I know… and how small and finite I am in it.
‘I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.’
– Henry David Thoreau
I’ve finally begun the tedious process of transferring all my Japanese language tapes (from the 80s, mind you) into Garageband, and thereafter, into my iPod.
Because my dear friends… I am finally doing what I wanted to do in 2010. I am going to learn to speak in my mother tongue. Imagine the world that will open up to me, the stories I’ll hear… and of course, the wonderful secret language that Jap Girl and I will finally have.
It’s divinely schoolgirl-ish.
Of course, not a single bit on the language tapes makes much sense to me right now, but I have this idea that if I play the tapes while I sleep, osmosis will take place and I’ll wake up with a new language, ready for use, on the tip of my tongue.
Okay fine. I can dream, can’t I?
Many thanks to DigiBoy who lent me his cable. He’s always been awesome that way, being the techinical-god who had the patience to answer my technically naive questions. Then again, he was the one who asked me if there was only space for one person on the top of mountains…
‘Because mountains have peaks, right? And peaks end at a point… so does that mean only one person can stand there at a time? And if so, does the entire group have to take turns to summit?’
DigiBoy… you are such a spot of sunshine in a sometimes grey world.
‘Why are your eyes so red and puffy?’ I asked the Designer.
‘Oh… I slept late last night,’ he sheepishly grinned.
‘What were you doing?’
‘I got this new software and was teaching myself to draw feathers in 3-D, you know, stroke by stroke, that sort of thing. And then to animate the feathers to move as they would when the wind blows.’ He answered, turning his computer screen to face me. ‘Look!’
‘Why are you doing this?’ I asked. He was already swamped with work and I was curious about his latest project.
‘Oh… no real reason. I just wanted to figure out how to use the software,’ he shrugged. ‘You know… just in case.’
I smiled. So maybe I wasn’t the only one.
‘I have finally figured out how we can catalogue our entire props collection!’ Scooter Girl hollered. ‘I am so excited! It’s the same system I implemented in my new home. I think it can work… now I just need to go to the hardware store to get the drawers I need.’
‘Erm… you enjoy cataloging the stuff?’ I smirked.
‘Yes, of course! I can’t stand the mess. And I always want a system that I can manage in place…’ she continued, staring at her excel spreadsheet. ‘What I need to know now, is how to monitor the borrowing process… hmm…’
I retreated quietly to my corner of the office and began to chuckle.
‘You know what?’ I tapped Jap Girl on her shoulder. ‘I think you do like to learn…’
‘What do you mean?’ she asked.
‘You just don’t like to read manuals and stuff… but you are so curious about the world and what you see. You learn from observing life. Your learning isn’t quantified by knowledge alone. You do it every time you ask the questions that people only think, but never say. You however, just voice them out. And because of that, you learn. Just in a different way…’
‘Maybe…’ she smiled.
‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.’
– Albert Einstein
What about you?
Are you a knowledge-starved person too?