The Beauty of Life
Good Afternoon Dr. Toupadakis,
First of all, sorry for the lengthy email and second of all, I
would like to apologize for not attending office hours or stopping
by to say hello after you gave me advice on how to improve my life.
I’ve been busy with school and trying to figure out how to
be a better person. I am trying to catch up with the natural world
that I have failed to admire, or even notice, in the same way I
used to as a stress-free, happy child.
Since last quarter in Chemistry 2B, you have sparked a fire in
me that would like to engulf the world to fulfill its desire of
understanding it and to enlighten others. This fire was cooled long
ago as I entered junior high school and the world seemed nothing
more to me than a competition for collecting wealth and gaining
prestige. During the past few years, I have been starved for the
beauty of life because society has pointed out to me that success
revolves around wealth and inequality and injustice. I did not truly
understand this until my senior year of high school when I encountered
the harsh reality that people do not consider me as equal to others
of different races, nationalities, and religious backgrounds because
of my beliefs. A certain incident initiated thought in me and made
me change my perspective of the world. It was definitely hard to
balance my social problems with school because it seems as though
the school system prior to college is established in a way that
prevents students from becoming critical thinkers.
People memorize and believe everything they hear without stopping
and thinking about things for themselves. They cannot decide for
themselves what happiness is and how to attain it. As a result,
they accomplish nothing for themselves, but achieve so much for
society because they reinforce and empower the social problems that
plague the world. Thank you for helping me to grasp this reality
even more and telling my fellow students and me that happiness will
find us once we have a purpose and meaning in life.
I have been thinking so much since winter quarter 2007 (Chemistry
2B) and I have to admit that I have changed for the better since
the beginning of the school year. I have taken your advice and have
found more meaning in my life. I now take time to admire the natural
world around me because it makes me peaceful to know that unlike
the materialistic world, nature is available to everyone and provides
for everyone in the same way. Like you said during your last lecture
for Chemistry 2C this quarter, “We are all made from the same
clay.” This is evident when you realize that we all rely on
the same sun, earth, and air for survival.
I took your advice from earlier this quarter and have started volunteering
at an elementary school, sitting outside to absorb the energy of
the sun, and admiring the night sky, mesmerized by the beauty of
the stars. Earlier this year, I was caught up with society and rarely
spent time outside. When I was a young girl, I was always outside
playing under the sun. As I grew older, I grew more distant from
nature and closer to the material world because society emphasizes
it more than anything else. The curiosity I had within me as a child
was like a growing fire that wanted to encompass its surroundings
and I think with time it could have, but I let that fire die and
replaced it with emptiness.
Now, I’m starting this internal fire again and it is growing
as I spend more time doing the things that have actual meaning in
my life. I started spending time outdoors, with my family, with
children, and trying to attain a deeper understanding of my cultural
identity, which society wants to make me feel ashamed of. This summer
I’m going to my native country to meet with my relatives and
I think I will get more out of this trip than doing anything else
Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
Thank you so much for everything.
Chemistry 2C, Spring 2007