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 this summer.

Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Thank you so much for everything.

Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Chemistry 2C, Spring 2007