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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Subjects and Things!

There's a different kind of satisfaction associated with answers obtained through writing and answers obtained with more logical methods, like math. With writing, you launch yourself on this undirected journey towards a destination that you're not completely sure of. Or maybe you are. It's up to you. Everything is up to you. Hell, even the answer is up to you. When you feel like you've written something exactly how it's "supposed" to be written, you feel accomplished.

With math, I've always felt more relieved. It's much more methodical and guided, you have set ways of solving something, most likely. It's figured out for you in some ways, but you have to put it in the right order.

At the end of "mathing it out", I feel like I've just hiked up a mountain with a group of professionals and all of our supplies have been carefully apportioned and we have to eat at certain times and sleep at certain times, whereas writing is more like encountering a convenience store in the middle of an unknown city after wandering for four hours. Writing victories are more unexpected, in that sense.

Science is a weird combination of both. Maybe not many associate science with creativity, but it's fueled by creativity. Science is questions looking for answers that are derived from established facts. Plus curiosity on fire. Curiosity on fire is more than a boredom cure on a slow summer weekday. It's more than a laidback Wikipedia spree. Although those are very fulfilling, you know. (Who knew that Will Smith studied Scientology at one point? Not this chick.)

Anyway, curiosity on fire is this burning ache to figure something out. That's similar to the allure of writing--- not even writing, but imagination really. Writing exercises creativity in some ways. It isn't the only way of doing so, but it's one of the most entertaining. It lends the creativity needed to work something out. Math gives you a goal to reach and a method to use. Math gives security in the midst of the creativity, which can often be somewhat overwhelming due to the lack of solid facts. It's in science that both sort of run into the other. Both are equally important.

Writing is easy for me. As such, it's not as fulfilling as I once believed. There was a time where I considered it as a career, but for practical (monetary) and personal (soul-crushing emptiness and frustration) reasons, I decided against pursuing it. It's not going to be a primary choice, but it is going to run constantly in the background of my life. Doing just one thing would never be satisfactory, I think my future has to have a nice balance of things.

I don't "feel" math enough to pursue a career with heavy amounts of it. I acknowledge its importance and I am in awe of its intricacies amidst simplicity. When I hear people attack math and talk about how useless it is to know the Pythagorean theorem or how to find the area of a triangle, I disagree. It may not be my field, but I value its importance.

Science has areas that are less math-oriented, too. Chemistry made me feel bad about myself. Physics, too. But Biology? Animals and life processes and behavior and how things work together, all with a muted pull from the heavy mathematical stuff (although memorizing how many specific molecules were produced in a certain plant process was tricky), heck yeah. That was interesting to me.

Biology is life. And it's something that everybody can relate to. Since it's life. As a junior, I felt bombarded by the amount of lab reports we had to do and my negative obsession with that put a damper on how I saw the class. There was a lot of busy work to be done, reporting results and thinking of ways something could go wrong. I also was in the middle of a writing peak during that year, so I was hellbent on becoming a writer. As a result, I didn't even consider pursuing Biology after high school.

Now I'm here, summer before college begins, and I've developed a love-hate relationship with writing. I have a mutual like-like relationship with science. And a respect-my-space, I'll-respect-yours relationship with math. Junior me would have insulted current me on Twitter through a series of passive-aggressive tweets. Because right now, it seems like a lot of things are up in the air. What happened to the Big Writing Plan???

I've been spun around in circles with a blindfold and pushed lightly in the direction of science, so I'm stumbling towards it. I mentioned an interest in dentistry earlier. (I suppose the health field is the application of biology to actual human beings. And viruses and disease control and stuff like that.) While it would be nice to know about my future for sure, I have to admit that I'm still stumbling.


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