#360: my first earthquake experience

As foreboding as the title sounds, I need to clarify that I didn’t experience said earthquake at its worst. And I’m very thankful for that.

For moments, I felt my mortality in all its entirety.

Today, New Zealand was struck by two earthquakes, one that was magnitude 6.1, and the other 5.1 (Daily Mail). I refer to the 5.1 magnitude quake. I was at my cultural anthropology lecture with about 100 students in Victoria University of Wellington when the lecture theatre floor shook (neither violently nor mildly) beneath our feet.

My first thoughts were of surprise, that I felt the tremor before I saw the projector screens shake. Maybe our tactile sensors react and signal to our brains faster than our visual system. Maybe our brains process tactile sensory stimuli faster than visual stimuli. But what stuck with me was what and how I felt after: genuine fear. It wasn’t overwhelming fear, but it made an impression on me. For moments, I felt my mortality in all its entirety. I had lingering thoughts that more quakes could strike again, and I would be caught in their aftermath next time.

This was the first earthquake I’ve experienced that I can recall with confidence from memory. I am shaken, or I remain shaken because I have not moved on from it. Perhaps when I shift my attention to and busy myself with the revision I need to do for my two upcoming tests in two days time, this anxiety will disappear into the past, and all that will survive is the memory of having experienced an earthquake that I may retell in time to come.

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#360: my first earthquake experience

#357: An explanation for why we have trouble reading academic journals and jargon-dominating texts

“The problem is that as we become proficient at our job or hobby we come to use these catchwords so often that they flow out of our fingers automatically, and we forget that our readers may not be members of the clubhouse in which we learned them.”

Steven Pinker

What exactly is this problem, and how does it make formal texts so hard for us to comprehend? Read the full article here to find out: The Single Reason Why People Can’t Write, According to a Harvard Psychologist by Glenn Leibowitz

#357: An explanation for why we have trouble reading academic journals and jargon-dominating texts

#355: An interesting take on ‘willpower’

Have you always depended upon willpower to yourself through tough times? To complete your tasks? To achieve your goals? Why not make a decision, a commitment, and configuring your environment for success instead? Read the full article by Benjamin P. Hardy here: Willpower doesn’t work — here’s how to actually change your habits

#355: An interesting take on ‘willpower’

#354: Today…

Today I played a more active role in helping out in my dance club’s technique session that is specially catered towards our juniors. I was in front along with my vice-chairperson, who led the session, most of the time as she went through each exercise. I took the initiative and approached juniors who I thought weren’t sure of some steps. And when we did the exercises in small groups, I wasn’t embarrassed to consult my better juniors on steps I was unclear with, or executed wrongly.

Today I was among the front few dancers as our instructor taught the exercise for this week’s technique session for the entire club. Today was the first time I willingly let myself be one of the first few dancers to do the across-the-floor exercises. I have always been one of the back few, but I stood in front today. And when my instructor guided me with everyone else watching, I wasn’t afraid.

Today I realised how much I’ve improved. There were certain across-the-floor exercises that I just couldn’t grasp in my first year. I really struggled, and I seemed to be the one that struggled the most. I even had seniors call me out to try and teach me one-on-one. But today, I could do those exercises that I previously struggled with and feared doing.

I thank my seniors for their guidance and well-intentions, even though I felt more embarrassed than I am learning in the past. There is still a lot of room for me to improve on, and I mean A LOT. But I think I can take a moment to reflect and be happy for myself with the progress that I’ve made, that I could recognise rather clearly today.

#354: Today…