Friday, September 22, 2006

Me, Myself & Harvard

To excel in any profession, in which but few arrive at mediocrity, is the most decisive mark of what is called genius or superior talents. And probably it's a windfall (either I am being optimistic or rather to better put it in better words I might say it was destiny) that I am in Harvard.

I had heard about Harvard Business School which was probably the first thing which used to come to my mind which I could relate to when I used to hear about Harvard. Slowly, I came to terms with other words like research, medical, sleep, memory, emotion which is what my world revolves around these days. Harvard is indeed a great place to be and as someone said it's all about the people who are at Harvard. The importance of brand Harvard (which might be quite an infrequent term used) I now understand however still trying to comprehend the impact (The Harvard ID does open a lot of doors for me apart from certain monetary benefits). The place has 'schools' in all diverse fields from design, medical, law, business etc. One of the recent things which I came to know about was the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. (http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/) I have heard about it enough to inspire me to go and have a look at it which should hopefully happen this week considering I might a glimpse of the Fall colors . (now, after my recent New Hampshire trip I never miss a chance to see/experience this wonderful aspect of nature). The Harvard University campus has a statue of the young clergyman John Harvard in the Harvard yard. The Harvard yard is like the center of the Harvard Univ. which had a lot of freshman dorms at quite a unique feel to it. The Harvard statue is like the cynosure of the whole place which no one misses to have a snap taken with which also is a common target of pranks and humorous decorations besides having a nasty graduation tradition to it. Harvard has a friendly rivalry with MIT (Massachusetts Insitute of Technology), the two schools cooperate as much as they compete with a lot of joint ventures in the city.

Hindsight, usually looked down upon, is probably as valuable as foresight, since it does include a few facts. I never knew I would end up working in Harvard. If I actually retrospect when I was a kid I used to think on the lines; Wow ! He is an engineer ! Then school 'happened', college 'took place' and voila ! I was a Bachelor in Instrumentation & Control Engineering. The years spent in engineering was a dream. I guess given a chance I would definitely want to relive my childhood. Master's in Biomedical Engineering was my own choice and indeed quite a right one. The succession of events which followed got me into cognitive neuroscience. I was always associated in some way or the other to sleep either by having loads of it or studying the same. I remember the good ol' days when I slept 12-14 hours a day which I think I still continue to do so on weekends however the only thing now is that I know that the process is called My work is absolutely interesting since it concerns with things like what dreams are for and how memories are formed. More important, the question why we sleep ? The fundamental purpose of sleep is to catch up on processiong info. recd. during the time when we were awake. Anyways, more dwell more on my work for the time being since that is all I do during the week.


All my life I used to wonder what I would become when I grew up. Then about seven years ago, I realized that I was never going to become someone - that growing is an ever ongoing process. So the wondering was stopped and reality thinking continues. Now, I am a part of the research fraternity learning and hopefully (I think I can dare to say this now) discovering new things along the way. I keep hearing this quote quite a number of times.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”
~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi quotes (Hungarian Biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1893-1986)

and nowadays thinking a step further in sleep terms my personal fav. is

"Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
"

Greatness comes not when things always go good for you, but the greatness comes when you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you have been in the deepest valleys can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. After all this finally, I am sitting on my cluttered desk writing away this blog while at work as a break from some coding. Hopefully, my next workplace will be equally exciting though one thing is for sure that my association with Harvard will be treasured in my heart forever. Now, I guess writing all this has motivated me enough to get back to some coding since basically:

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing".
~ Werner von Braun

1 comment:

Manik said...

It is not the statue of John Harvard's.

John Harvard didn't look like that. Check it out dude...it is called "statue of three lies", one of which is that it aint John's !


ciao
Manik