Sunday, September 2, 2012

And words are all I have...

Seems like a long gap... Though it is actually just a month and a week.. Filled with exams, moving to a new house, unpacking, packing, getting stuff, first week of classes, and now back to the grind... Deadlines, deadlines.. It is almost ironic that my whole "life" is controlled by "dead" lines...

Anyway, now I have a lot to do, but as always when I have a lot to do, I have come back to blogging. In the 2 weeks that I supposedly have a vacation, did I have anything to write about? Nah! But the day I have 2 homework assignments and lots of reading to do, I try to watch videos  and finish up reading all unread posts on Google Reader and then update my blog. Soon I will be cleaning my table (if you have stayed with me ever, you will know what an extreme act that is, by my standards!)

Thinking about it, I can see why this kinda thing happens. I guess when I have a lot of time and need to read an article or clean the kitchen, the other options are way more fun in comparison. Whereas when I actually have to code up a model and solve ODEs, cleaning the table is almost like a walk on the beach :) But I really think there should be a name for this behavior. It is not simple procrastination. It is the "I-want-to-do-all-the-stuff-I-usually-hate-doing-but-I-won't-start-the-work-in-hand" syndrome. Or maybe somebody will come up with some Latin-sounding word for that.

Anyway, where was I? Oh I wasn't actually anywhere yet, apparently. I started this post thinking I should write about two things. But by the time I reached this part, I forgot one of them. There should be a word for that feeling too- when you have forgotten something, but its hovering tantalizingly close to your memory..  It is not just forgetting- like I completely forgot to buy garbage bags yesterday, or I have completely forgotten what I learnt in Chemistry-1 in 1st semester BTech. It's not that kind of forgetting where you know that thing is clearly out of your head. It is when you know the thing- almost- but are not quite able to recall. It's almost there in your head, very close by, but somehow doesn't reach you. It's in you knitting your eyebrows and closing your eyes saying "I KNOW it.. Just a second,... It will come to me in a second"... (but it doesn't).

I remember reading this long post about words English language should have, but doesn't -like the feeling when you are in one queue and you realize the other one, which was much longer when you joined this one, has actually moved on at double the speed and you would be out of this place by now, if you had joined that one, but it's far too late to do so! There were quite a few more, but I don't remember the rest. 

All this reminds me of the lines from the song Words by the Bee Gees (I didn't know they were called THAT!). "It's only words... And words are all I have to take your heart away..."

It's sorta true... I sometimes think that all that we think is in terms of words- so if we don't have the right words, we are probably limited in what we can think. (Note to self: Write about Skinner's Verbal Behavior and Finish reading the Chomsky paper!) But then again, after a short week with DramaTech, I'd say that words are a miniscule part of your interactions with people. One can convey a huge amount of information (or emotion) without speaking a word... Which is beautiful..

Still, words are probably more concise and effective. Like Meenakshi Sundaram (one of our English profs) used to say- there is a world of difference between secret, confidential and clandestine. And the right word can make all the difference. I was discussing this with my father one of these days- how people are not particularly specific about what they are saying, especially on the internet..

That reminds me of one of the two things that I was going to write about (not the one I forgot earlier). It was about technology and pedagogy. It so happened that I was discussing how technology has changed the role of a teacher with my father and brother, and then my brother went on to write something about it for his magazine, reading which, I thought I should write about it too. But maybe I have ranted enough for one day, so let me keep it for laters (To those who are particular: Yes!That is an internet word. And its position there was intentional! :D).

Interestingly, though all three of us discussed nearly the same thing about technology and teaching, my brother's article seemed to be talking something completely different from what I thought we had said. It was like- we had used the same set of words to discuss, but he meant something completely different. It made me question our abilities to translate non-verbal thoughts into words... (Note to self: Is there a behaviorist answer for this?)

Well, well.. I'm forced to repeat- It's only words.. And words are all I have..

P.S: I started this post thinking I should finish it in 20 minutes, but ended up writing for 40. There should be a word for overestimating the amount of work you can do in a period of time, especially when you are swamped with work..
P.S.2: Wow! I can write soooo much without saying ANYthing I intended saying when I started.. And in such a short time!!!! :O