Lion’s Head, Snake’s Tail

There is an old 成语, or chinese idiom that my parents always say to me: 虎头蛇尾, or translated literally, lion’s head, snake’s tail. It honestly is a back-of-the-hand insult, meaning that you start too many things but never tend to finish them.

Honestly, it describes me quite well. I always have this huge amount of enthusiasm when I begin a project, and for a couple of days, seem to live off the adrenaline rush that accompanies it. I start reading up, getting signed up for everything, and just so heavily involved in every little aspect of it.

Yet, wherever I go, I leave behind a trail of projects that have fallen by the wayside, forgotten or covered up in utter shame. There is so much that I do that just ends up in nothingness.

When I translated this idiom in google translate, it actually gave me the term “anticlimax”, which I suppose makes quite a bit of sense. You tend to build and build and build, but suddenly you hit a brick wall and *poof*, all of your work has gone away.

My attitude tends to make me a person who is a “jack of all trades, master of none”, as I have pointed out several times earlier. I like to dabble, to get involved in the amateur stuff, but my weakness is in persisting through with an idea; to see it to its end. I might blame my short attention span; I might attribute it to low willpower. But whatever it is, it is one of my major flaws.

In fact, procrastination really tends to stem from this. If there is something that I am supremely interested in, I couldn’t afford to procrastinate! It is that I just slowly lose interest and the project falls, dead to my mind.

There are ties to education as well; why I love reading popular science articles yet find it difficult to really sit down and learn. I want to be stimulated, but I’m afraid of putting in the energy.

Like all habits, this is something that I need to slowly work on, day after day. It might just mean doing something that I don’t like very much, just to get into the habit of working. Maybe it means forcing myself to love and to learn even when it feels like that dark cloud of gloom is upon me again. Whatever it is, it is something that I need to change.

Regret

So many emotions, overwhelming our senses
but never lasting for long
like a wave tossed through the ocean
our brain flitters and flutters
never staying long enough
in one spot.

But as we sway
to the rhythm of that ocean
a rare cloud sweeps over
that deep blue sky.

The shadow of doubt
lingers unlike any other
for though the waves come and go
changing with the moons and tides,
regret stays and sink through my soul
staining it black beyond belief.

Oh what I would have changed!
What I would have said and done!
But alas, Father Time is too cruel
and our time is
cut

So with no island on the horizon
I must sail on, sail through
with nothing but myself to blame.

——
I wish I talked to you more, waigong and waipo, while you were here. I mis you so so so much, and I just want to see you still, to hear your murmur of shanghainese. Old age is not kind, and your sudden return was not easy. NOw all I can do is comfort and be comforted by the passage of time.

I miss you.

Alive

Walking home, in the midst of a receding thunderstorm and gloomy skies, I have never felt more alive.

Physics B was Monday, one of the many tests this year. Seattle weather just perfectly complimented it, with booming thunder reminding us of physics mighty power upon the world. Walking out of the three hour examination room was quite a joy, with the world still wet from the unexpected thunderstorm.

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What next?

Education is in shambles and there is clearly some problem in the system. Even if we don’t agree on the exact root cause of the problem, although the “grouping everyone into one big program” argument sounds pretty sound to me, we do agree that there is a huge problem with what is going on. However, we are students after all. Any real reform that we can do will not be experienced for many years, at least until after we graduate or even when those pesky younger cousins graduate. It is hard to change the direction of such a large program with so much inertia, and while it is possible, it would take lots of time and lots of money.

Still, it is in the face of true difficulties that the beauties of humanity can most aptly be shown. Even if we are not able to change the entire world immediately, there are so many small steps that we can take in order to incite an air of revolution. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so we better make sure that step is towards the right direction.

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