It has been approximately half a decade since I closed my old blog to the public. I was about to be conscripted, and so I sought to dissemble my thought, to conceal the more controversial aspects of my personality, to be completely unremarkable. For a time, I even stuck Fyodor Tyutchev’s Silentium to my bedroom wall. After all the gruesome stories I heard about National Service, how could I not be thus cautious?
Perhaps my efforts were in part successful. Nonetheless, it is undeniable that my avoidance of the worst excesses of conscription cannot be attributed to anything but sheer good fortune. The story of those dark years is a story for another time.
When university finally started, I was very eager to resume my intellectual training. The mental starvation of the preceding two years whetted my appetite for learning. Against the advice of those who suggested I go for easy marks, I took computer science as one of my first year subjects. Looking back, that was the most challenging course I have ever taken, at least at the point of writing this post. The comparative easiness of first year physics enabled me to spend more time on computer science, building my understanding from scratch.
In subsequent years, the course materials got harder, my time more stretched out. No single subject was too difficult, but the requirements of them all brought me to the brink of collapse. During my third year, my interest in physics had waned to the point of not wanting to even touch general relativity, a topic I had always wanted to learn.
My old ways had failed me. I had to change my study techniques drastically, balancing my commitments as the co-chair of CU Physics Society on top of that. I barely managed to pull through and get a first class honours. At the end of it all, I sat in my room in the dark; I bitterly rued how low I had fallen. I who once strove to be the best in my cohort was reduced to merely trying to scrape a first. It was a stormy time, and I am grateful to those who came to my aid. Nonetheless, in the end, I emerged far mightier than I was before. It was what I sought from my undergraduate education, and I am glad to have achieved it, at least.
There is so much to write about. This is but an introductory post, and so I shall not go into detail here. In the intervening years I have grown less certain of my path; whether I have cast aside my blinkers or whether my vision is dimmed is anyone’s guess. In either case, it would do for me to be more introspective. Even though I updated my private blog from time to time, it is not quite the same when next to no one reads it. I need conversation, new ideas. It is for this reason that I shall once again write a blog.