This is really overdue, but I have been really busy for a long time, and really just didn’t get around to post something about the summer program that I attended this year at Yale University. Without further adieu…
Sometimes back I wrote a post that opposed the idea of going to a place where you would spend much of your life’s savings on getting a diploma where if the original purpose of yours was to learn something you could do it with only 1.25$ overdue from a library.
Turns out, I was WRONG.
And like every other fact or idea that I turned out to be wrong about. I embraced it with open mind.
It actually makes sense.
Going to college or university is more than just curling up with a book and learning something. You can’t learn everything from books. You reading this post, I can’t learn about you from some friggin’ book.
If you would ask me about art, I would talk to you about renaissance for countless minutes. But I would never know how people thought about life in those times. See, you get the point.
More than what you have learned, it is about the experience that you get. It’s mind’s exodus to free thinking.
So this year, I found myself at a place such as Yale University. For two weeks I participated at a program where the people had come from all four corners of the world.
Although, I didn’t sleep for more than six hours each night, and the program’s schedule had a lot that I had to tend to, it gave me the hope that learning is truly a life’s journey.
I participated at the first session of the program which seemed really interesting to me. It was the Science, Policy and Innovation session of the program.
A typical day would start with a lecture at 9AM. Sitting at the lecture hall listening to Prof. Prober, talking about “…energy consumption…” my mind would be a little dizzy from last night, because of sitting to work with my ‘project group’ crew at a Starbucks late into the night then heading back into my dorm where I would finish that source analysis that my project required till around 2AM.
One way to look at a university is the atmosphere that it provides you with. I had this level of tranquility, this calmness, although under pressure of a lot of workload, I had this calmness, because of the environment.
Later on having a lunch, with a group of guys that I didn’t talk to before. Once someone said: “It’s so cool that you don’t have traffic lights in Afghanistan. I hate it here”.
Although in the schedule it said “Free Time”, I never took it as a free time, I would be hanging out with someone in the courtyard or just sitting on bench and reflecting.
Or just strolling around the university’s campus. I was astonished with all the beautiful architecture that I saw there.
Then hearing the clock tower’s chimes I would be doing something else.
Whether it was the lectures or whether it was the project groups that I worked with, I met with amazing people, all really different from each other and that inspired me so much.
Probably, some 40 years from now I will meet with someone that I met during the program and I will go: “No way! Do you remember we had lunch together that day after the lectures?” And he will go: “No way, it’s really you!” And I will go: “Yes it’s really me. Who do think I was?”
During the two intense weeks, I learned the importance of building relationships and human interaction. And reliezed how much it matters.
It’s in these dire times in the world that we need to bring young people (such as me) from around the world to think about the solutions to the many problems that we have in this world. Because the youngs are the future leaders. No kidding.
Finding the next generation of global leaders is not an easy task, but starting with this, it definitely shows a bright future. And the world certainly seems a much more hopeful place with bringing all the talented people from around the world to exchange ideas.
There was so much to do, that at the time you felt that you were always falling behind. Time indeed stood in the way.
There is so much to say. But probably that will take a lot of time and a lot of writing to do. The least that you got to know from this post was to know that at least something in my mind changed.
There is a world out there that needs to be changed. And I am so lucky to have seen all these people with brilliant minds and ideas that I am sure will change the world for the better.
Photo: Courtesy of YYGS:SPI organizers