n. the desire to be struck by disaster—surviving a plane crash, losing everything in a fire, plunging over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.
Some of you long-time knowers of me might find this surprising, but I have finally come to appreciate my undergrad education. Instead of learning specifically how to do certain things, I learned how to approach problems and ask good questions. I learned to practice that instead of the technology du jour of the day (2001-5!). College wasn’t all that bad; IIT was most certainly not a Java School. Hell, a few of my classes were in assembly (not including the one where I had to design the actual PROCESSOR that ran the recursive assembly code, but I digress).
In grad school, it’s the same story. And now I understand a bit better.
As I study more, it becomes harder to pinpoint my specific interests. I’m a curious person at my core, and most things interest me in some way, shape, or form. So, when people ask me what I do or want to do, I hate to give any specific answer – not because I think I have so many talents, but because what I “do” is wonder, then wander. Learning how to do that has been great. Hopefully I’m improving.
— Albert Einstein