Jun 14, 2009

The Final Week

Is usually the worst in terms of quality of life and sleep. Piles and piles of accumulated coursework, back-to-back exams, and switching rooms. Luckily for me this year I'd remain in my same old 'penthouse' unit - baking hot as an oven in summer and eerily cold like an icebox in winter.
Nevertheless, what's bad about finals is that you don't get to rest after the exams are over. Packing, cleaning up and sorting out the mess of an entire semester comes next. Then comes the end-of semester gatherings - eat and talk, and worrying about my unpacked luggage, more food and drinks, and complaining I haven't clean up and my train is leaving in 3 hours time.
Anyway, what's bad this year is the stormy weather predicted to last until mid-June. I like thunderstorms in summer, because they are hardcore and violent. The sound of raindrops drumming the earth is somewhat pressure-relieving when you're grounded 12 hours a day studying. The romanticism lasts until it's time for lunch and dinner - when I literally have to wade through streams comparable to the Yellow River to get anywhere.
Back to a more global issue the debris of Air France flight 447 has been found, and most agree that aside chances of finding survivors are next to zero, the black box and flight data recorder might never be found.

Photo from time.com - in Paris CDG airport after the news of confirmed sightings of flight 447's debris in the Atlantic

Read on the paper edition of Time (tried searching for the article online, but with no avail) that men is just celebrating the 100th year of flying and not even 20 years of commercial jet aviation. The ease of getting from A to B means we take many things for granted - what's fascinating a decade ago might just be a plane ride away. Compounded with the ease of communication, mankind became gradually more ignorant and negligible to one another - he's just a phone call away, so I'd save his long 'how ya doing' for next time, I'd facebook her instead of asking her out for a reunion etc.
So when your loved ones suddenly pass, for example the loss of 228 passengers and crew of AF447, the time we saved by taking everything for granted credits itself, with interests. Family and friends find no time at all to react, no time to bid goodbyes or even say something nice. Perhaps the husband might just had a fight with his wife, and perhaps it's something as trivial as the side dish of dinner, and the next thing he knew the plane was disintegrating at 35,000 feet, while passing through a violent summer thunderstorm like tonight.
Globalization does indeed require us to pace up against the world's speed, to boost efficiency and maximize output. But it doesn't mean we should compromise our quality of life and time with our loved ones. This is something we should think about (and less exams next time?).