Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is Possible?

As my last semester at SFU, I am taking this program called Semester in Dialogue, which is a discussion-based, student-oriented course rather than a normal lecture type class.

What interesting to me is that I can get to meet people from all over the faculties, including Communications, Business, Geography, Environmental Studies, Criminology, Education, and Science who would never meet and have a same class otherwise; it is very interesting to hear their stories and see different perspectives. We, including myself, tend to follow stories in our interests, care things that matter only to us, and hang out people who have similar backgrounds or interests. This is a great chance for me to mingle with people who have completely different backgrounds and often have very different interests. But we do share one common interest: Vancouver. Hence the topic of this course is "Wilding Vancouver".

Vancouver is a very active city that welcomes multiculture, diversity, and nature. Yet it is surprising how much I don't know about the city and what is "really" happening in local communities. This course lets me explore the city and meet with community leaders, having a dialogue about a whole range of topics.

As a part of ice breaking sessions, we went to a retreat at Rolling Earth in Robert Creek where I met with people who are practicing a sustainable living and enjoying the richness of wild. They produce about 25% of food by themselves and really, enjoying their lives there.

One of the unique exercises we did was "Walk in Silence", which we go on a trail and not allowed to talk, listening in what we hear. This gave me a different view of what is visible and what I can hear. I can hear things that are not visible, giving me a greater sense of surroundings. Regardless of my presence, the sound is always on; I capture only a part of the sound that is present, constantly on and dynamically changing.

Wildness in me is something uncontrolled, free, powerful, changing and authentic. The definition of wild in this course is not entirely clear to me yet and I expect to change as the program goes on. I am very excited to be a part of this experimental project and looking forward to meeting with great guests and working with new friends.

One more thing I realized during the retreat: the path I am taking right now is nothing wrong. I am about to find out what works and what not. All I have to do is figuring out how/where I can give a shout and try things that interest me and keep trying until I find it. Keep tying, don't settle.

"Stay hungry, stay foolish"
just like someone said.

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