25 July 2011

21st Update

School Nostalgia

It's been three years since I last stepped foot on my school and it was really nostalgic. There had been many changes, the stairs on the library are now a bit rugged and the varnished chairs had some scratches on them, there was a plaza and a wide road leading to the chapel and a new building stood near our college building. The aura was still a bit the same, though. The students are busy with their schoolwork, friends, activities, there were still the same old fashionistas wearing high heels, the students who are so absorbed with their own busy lives and friendships.

I missed this kind of life, when I would walk and almost run with my high heels just so I can catch up with my class schedules, carrying a pile of books proudly while my classmates are busy fixing make-up, talking and enjoying the free time after classes. I enjoyed reading and discovering a lot of things at the library and in my favorite subjects, taking new adventures when I travel places and walk on the streets, observing people and the surroundings. I was filled with wonder, sense of curiosity and happiness, even though my mind and body is tired. I converse and meet many kinds of people and share them with faith, life experiences, wisdom, and fields of interests and knowledge.

I missed being a student who is driven with goals and dreams, and is always excited to widen her horizons. Visiting the university library, I am planning to expose myself to academic life again, God willing.

The Library

As I was browsing the social sciences section, I came up with a book that caught my attention, and it was entitled, Introvert Power: Why Your Hidden World Can Be Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe. Although I didn't read it in-depth, taking small dips within its pages, I rediscovered this aspect in me that had troubled me for quite sometime. The book hopefully will give me an open door to to re-strengthen myself in terms of my own individuality and reconnect with my hopes and dreams for the future.

The university library is composed of various sections and it is housed on a huge, state-of-the-art, glass-covered building. On the first level, you can see the Graduate School Section, General Reading Section, Periodicals Section which also contains magazines and academic journals, Filipiniana Section and the Thesis Section. The second level is the General Circulation Section which contains all subjects in all colleges. My favorites here are psychology, English literature, architecture, and art.

I love the quietness in this place,. I browse sections after sections and find my place beside the glass walls overlooking the scenery outside, and when night comes, the walls turn into mirrors. I am very drawn to this place, with its quietness and serenity. When I read and take my mind into various horizons, I am fascinated and the books become a part of my world too. This is a part of my world. When all the world outside is filled with conflict and chaos, you can find me here, sitting quietly on one corner and filling my mind with useful knowledge and wisdom.

Psychology

As a student of psychology, I am especially inclined toward the study of subjective experience, of knowing ones own self (self-awareness), ones behavior, interests, modes and ways of thinking, ones relation to the world, and most of all, ones relation to the Almighty Creator. My patterns of thinking had been shaped from from how I interpret the events that happen in my life and the behavior of the people whom I observe. I learned a lot of ways of how to better understand the workings of my mind through the classic theories of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology -- which enriched my ways of knowing of how to delve deeper into my own psyche and the psyches of the people who come into my life. They all use techniques such as writing, art, and retreats as ways to discover the forces that guide us in our behavior and personality. I learned most of these aspects in subjective psychology through reading books in the library and writing my insights about them.

Aside from these theories, I am also focused on cognitive psychology which can be approached using the experimental method and behavior can be measured using standard psychological tools. Social psychology also taught me how a certain individual's behavior can be shaped through the people and environment he is surrounded with -- either he can maintain his unique set of traits or compromise them in order to find a sense of belonging, conformity and safety in the society he lives in. Discussing everything about my days as a psychology student will probably exhaust this little essay and I think it will be more exciting if I'm going to write it in-depth on a future project, God willing.    

Among my favorite books are research papers and essays on clinical psychology, assessment, psychopathology, psychoanalysis, and subjects which tackle on creativity. I love reading books which do not simply contain numbers and dry facts, but those which make and give meaning and depth to psychology as an important field of knowledge.

Art

A noteworthy book that I encountered was Dada, Surrealism, and their Heritage. It was not fully a coffee-table table book in particular with colored pages in them, but rather, it was a black-and-white book containing text with deep analysis of the art concept of Dada and Surrealism and their significance during the second world war. Art was used as a means of conveying and communicating the social problems existing which caused disturbances, if not degradation of human values, and even of human life. Psychoanalysis was also tackled, especially in the art of surrealism. Surrealism attempted to translate and even expound on the workings of the unconscious mind as proposed by the psychoanalytic theory. It portrayed bizarre subjects, most motifs found on dreams and nightmares and those which dared defy reality.

The true artist is not one who imitates what she sees physically, but rather, she reinterprets what is perceived as outside reality into something which is otherwise uniquely understood according to the mind's eye.





On the other hand, the eye candy that I wished I have was Varieties of Visual Experience. Every page was filled with colorful reproductions of works by artists from the renaissance to the postmodern period. Alongside the works, the contents occupied art criticism, how each work was meant to be interpreted and in what context does the work of art truly represented. Alongside with Varieties of Visual Experience, I also remembered reading Surrealism: The Dream of the Revolution, It was also a color-filled book which draws most of its art-analysis on psychoanalytic terms. It attempted to explain the significance of exploring the human unconscious through the means of art in order to reveal the various implications of human and social issues.

These are not attempts to over-summarize the books, but rather, these are simply insights that I had when I was reading them. There were many journals, essays, and books that I encountered when I was still a student, and hopefully, God willing, I will further my scholarly interests and studies in the near future.