Month: July 2023

Some thoughts about ASR

What you’re reading this the result of dictation from an M2 Max Macbook Pro, to which I upgraded after some time of pretty much just realizing that I needed a new computer.

I don’t know how good it is going to be, but I have expectations that it will be a little better compared to what we have on the iPhone and other devices that we can use as part of the Apple system. So far, it seems there are some issues with the system because it recognizes some words incorrectly – partly that could be because I am pronouncing those words in a way that is not really concordant with what the algorithm is able to imitate. Hence, it ends up transcribing the wrong things, because what it hears is, in fact, something incomprehensible.

When it comes to automatic speech recognition, the algorithms that process our speech face problems when the expected input is ambiguous and can possibly match several possible outputs. The automatic speech recognition function is, after all, based on making predictions, based on the likely input that would be expected from a user over time. In the event that the prediction made by the algorithm is incorrect, the software may be penalized as a result of the input not matching the prediction. The ultimate goal is to have a scenario where every prediction generated by the model, as the person speaks, matches what the person intended to say with the least possible corrections required.

Let’s start with the voice’s pitch and ambient noise.

For an algorithm to receive the correct input, the sound it receives should match the specific waveforms used in the training dataset that guided the development of the automatic speech recognition system. If there is a deviation in the sound pattern, either due to ambient noise or tone of voice, the generated text can be inaccurate because the system receives problematic inputs in the first place. This is natural, because if you feed garbage in, you will naturally receive garbage out. There is a sort of equivalent exchange at play.

Let’s now talk about something different altogether – the device’s processing power. I’m not sure if this is a factor with the automatic speech recognition system on Apple devices, but I suspect it is. Each device needs to perform complex calculations that allow it to make predictions at a relatively high rate of 100 to 130 words per minute. If you look into the memory usage of the computer as it performs this process, you may see that the memory does not get consumed at a high degree – that is something I plan to test in the coming days.

The last possibility is that there is a problem with the algorithm itself in recognizing certain patterns of waves. There can be some variation depending on the quality of the input, but it’s also possible that the algorithm used to process the data can make mistakes on occasion. I’m confident that Apple is making strides to improve the output quality of its algorithms, and for that reason, I am optimistic about the improvements they can bring about.

I give this much thought because it is one of the most important aspects of any generative artificial intelligence system. These systems rely on good input into the algorithms, and speech recognition systems are extremely important as sources of input. As we interact with natural language on a daily basis, which is often faster than typing or pressing buttons on our devices, I believe that accurate dictation and procedural proofreading of our daily writing will lead us to a new era of AI.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds, particularly as we approach the end of 2023 with developments like iOS 17, AI generators, and all the different forms of technology that are becoming more prevalent. Time passes, and it is somewhat sad to think that we are coming closer to the end of our lives before these things come to fruition – still, the show is not over until it is over, and I can’t wait to see what is going to come!

Oppenheimer: A Review.

So I just watched Oppenheimer in the cinema just about an hour ago and it was probably the first movie that I watched in an entire era right here.

I rarely watch movies nowadays because of my increasingly busy schedule, but when I heard that Christopher Nolan had created a brand new movie starring that guy who was the bad guy from Batman now converted into, well, J. Robert Oppenheimer, I couldn’t resist; after watching it, I decided to do something even rarer and promptly wrote a review.

I read about the story of Oppenheimer for the longest time and had heard legends about how he was the smartest man in the entirety of Harvard, a man who literally changed a generation, changed the course of a war, and everything like that through books and articles too many to list… And I was interested to see the very first dramatization of his life story that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Of course Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Strauss was incredible and so was Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer…

But by the end of the film, as I was leaving the theatre, I could immediately hear the kids who were sitting behind me complaining for the entire time because it was just talking the entire way and they were waiting for the bomb to explode and an hour in they found themselves lost and not really able to understand anything.

For me that’s entirely understandable because the kind of drama that was going on in the movie and the kinds of issues that were raised are things that are not really conventionally viewed as blockbuster style, partly because of the nature of the source material – not exactly action movie material, which is probably what the kids were going for… Still though, I found the movie extremely interesting because it raises all these deep issues about the way that we got to this point, game theory and the perennial security challenge and beyond that, all these fun issues about the fight between good and evil.

The protagonist, chosen to construct a weapon of mass destruction, appeared suspiciously out of place. He was not the typical figure you’d expect for such a grave task, exhibiting intermittent Communist sympathies and a tendency to veer off the expected path through his interests in leftism and his affairs with women; despite his intelligence, his decision-making was unpredictable.

Yet against all odds, he rallied a diverse team to collectively embrace a singular mission – the creation of the atomic bomb, accepting the potential for being vilified or possibly hailed by history for his actions. That’s why it made me wonder, as perhaps it would make anyone wonder… 

Would you want to hold the burden of carrying hundreds of thousands of lives in your hands?

Would you want to be stained with that blood?

It was a profound ethical question that stood out back during the commencement of the atomic age and continues to stand out even now.

The movie was interesting for me also because it reminded me that at the time of this whole crisis, the United States was deep in the midst of a war with Nazi Germany, and they were trying their very best to develop a bomb before Germany could because they were dead set on ending the war, and because they were taking part in uncertain decisions that are perhaps all too familiar to anyone who has ever taken part in real adult life before. 

What I saw that America saw ahead of it was the uncertain prospect of being able to save lives from America that would otherwise be snuffed out by the continuation of the war versus the certainty of killing people in Japan, to in turn make war unthinkable and thereby resolve the security dilemma by the prospect in turn of Mutually Assured Destruction… Certainly not just a couple of people, rather at the end of the day it was about 220,000 as the movie says; certainly a more advanced version of the famous Trolley Problem in which a larger number of people’s lives were at stake, designed to stop an outcome that we don’t know would have happened or not.

That said, while the movie raised the valid point that for all we know, perhaps indeed Japan would have surrendered; the movie itself had raised the point that Japan was a country that was already on the verge of surrendering… But then what happened was that there was this whole Deus Ex Machina moment where a character came in and said, “Hey, I know that they’re not going to surrender”, introduces an element of dramatic tension, but it also highlights the fog of war and the immense uncertainty that leaders face when making decisions that can alter the course of history.

In terms of historical accuracy, it’s well documented that the decision to drop the atomic bombs was indeed based on a complex mix of strategic, political, and ethical considerations. There were voices within the Allied camp arguing that Japan was on the verge of surrender and that the bombing was therefore unnecessary. On the other hand, there was a strong belief that Japan would continue to fight tenaciously, resulting in a high number of casualties on both sides.

From a philosophical perspective, this reasoning isn’t simplistic; it’s a grappling with consequentialist ethics where the ends justify the means. However, it can be deemed simplistic if one assumes that decision-making, especially on such a massive scale, should take into account a wider range of considerations beyond a straightforward calculation of lives saved versus lives lost. Factors such as the ethics of targeting civilian populations, the long-term geopolitical ramifications, the potential for setting a dangerous precedent, and the moral burden placed upon those making the decision should all feature into such a discussion.

In real life, the decision to drop the bombs was, indeed, made in an atmosphere of deep uncertainty. Information was imperfect and the stakes were enormous. The film portrays this ethical conundrum and the challenges of decision-making under uncertainty in a thought-provoking manner.

To sum up, while the ethical reasoning might seem simplistic at first glance, a deeper examination reveals a web of complexities that go beyond a simple calculation of lives saved versus lives lost. It’s a sophisticated exploration of the moral dilemmas of leadership and the harsh realities of wartime decision-making.

‘Oppenheimer’, as a film, brings to the fore the complex and multifaceted question of responsibility, especially when it involves the creation and application of potentially destructive knowledge or technology. Though Oppenheimer stands as the man who led the team of scientists that built the atomic bomb. However, he was not the one who made the decision to use this catastrophic device on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It raises an interesting question: where does the responsibility lie? Is it with the minds that created the weapon or the hands that dropped it?

The film suggests that the onus does not solely lie with Oppenheimer and his fellow scientists who developed the bomb, but rather with the U.S. government and military that used it. The scientists, after all, were tasked with a job, and they did it. The use of the bomb, however, was a choice made by the government. This situation prompts contemplation of the difference between conceiving of a crime and actually committing one. The mere thought of a crime does not carry guilt; guilt becomes established only upon the realization of that thought into action.

This introduces us to a profound thought experiment. If the atomic bomb had never been used in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would we still view the creators of the atomic bomb as we do now? Are ideas themselves inherently evil, or is it their execution that determines their moral quality?

An idea, in isolation, is morally neutral. It’s the application and the consequences that dictate whether it’s deemed ‘good’ or ‘evil’. In this instance, the idea of nuclear fission led to the atomic bomb, which, when used, resulted in vast devastation. But the same principle also gave us nuclear power, an energy source that, when used responsibly, can bring numerous benefits.

Responsibility, then, isn’t just about the act of creation, but also about the choices made thereafter. It’s a dynamic, shared burden, intertwined with the choices that everyone in the world is making at any given point. The film encourages us to explore this moral landscape, prompting us to consider how individual and collective responsibilities interact and influence each other, and how our ideas, actions, and choices impact the world around us.

In the end, ‘Oppenheimer’ leaves us pondering the complex relationships between ideas, actions, and responsibility, providing a rich tapestry of moral and ethical questions that are as relevant today as they were during the dawn of the atomic age.

Like, if we hadn’t dropped the bomb, what kind of world would we be living in?

We conventionally think about the bomb as a bad thing, but Oppenheimer reminded me that sometimes, the things that we view as most fundamentally evil in this world, like for example becoming, in the words of the Bhagavad Gita as quoted by Oppenheimer, “I am become death destroyer of all worlds”…?

Probably not the most innocent or innocuous thing that you could do. 

But somehow or another, if you think about it in the context of World War II at the time, which was a situation where Germany was, well, killing the Jews and also chasing physicists like Bohr out because they were Jewish and recruiting people like Heisenberg to fight their war and perform research to suit an end that likely both you and I would decide is not amenable to our conscience, it makes you just recognize how good and evil often are contextually interlinked and ultimately inseparable, only veiled from one another by paper-thin walls. 

Like, if you choose to kill a couple million people because you wanted to achieve a good outcome, in this case the prevention of misuse of a similar bomb by a foreign power, then what you can be saying can be viewed as good. But on the other hand, if you happen to do what you’re doing for some other reason that is kind of adverse to one party’s interest, then somehow or another it just becomes evil… Right?

I don’t know.

The reasoning for that is pretty thin I guess. 

Still, what is good or evil?

Is it just something that’s purely contextually defined, or is it something that holds true to certain moral precepts or even creeds throughout the ages and eras?

How would religion define the invention of the atomic bomb? Sociology? Philosophy?

How do any of these things relate to the way we actually process our thoughts and understand what’s in front of us?

The way that the movie kind of framed this entire issue was, you know, if you don’t build it then the Nazis will, and even though we don’t know that we can use it correctly, the Nazis certainly won’t – in a way, it was a pretty simplistic way of characterizing the choice I guess, but when we ourselves look at our own way of understanding ethical issues about morality and choice, I guess that our ethical decision-making processes converge on similar things regardless of level of education or status or position in society. 

Still, Oppenheimer reminded me that sometimes, the things that we view as most fundamentally evil in this world can actually be viewed as exemplification of the ultimate good. In other words, becoming, in the words of the Bhagavad Gita as quoted by Oppenheimer, “I am become death, destroyer of all worlds” could either mean that you’ve become not just the destroyer of all worlds, but also the savior of all worlds – weird to think about how good and evil often are contextually interlinked and ultimately inseparable, only veiled from one another by paper-thin walls that break the moment you examine them.

What is good or evil? Is it just something that’s purely defined on a situational basis? Or is it something that holds true to certain moral precepts or even creeds throughout the ages and eras, therefore requiring us to consult ethics textbooks and an entire council of elders in order to determine the correct answer? 

Ultimately I think that Oppenheimer portrayed the issues that were at hand in a pretty simplistic way, but did a good job of highlighting some of the complexities of a human ethical existence by making us look at our own ways of understanding ethical issues about morality and choice through the larger lens of a societal issue that has captivated the world’s imagination – or maybe it was just me? Haha, I don’t know. Either way, it was a deeply enriching experience as a result.

Now, the last lesson I learned from Oppenheimer was that people can get pissed off for the most random of reasons and you can do nothing about it, thereby providing a wonderful exploration about the importance of emotional intelligence or human pettiness – whichever you prefer. 

Indeed, one of the pivotal themes the movie explores is the ugliness of human pettiness. It’s exemplified potently in the character of Lewis Strauss, the film’s principal antagonist. Strauss, who led the controversial hearings, was hell-bent on painting Oppenheimer as a traitor, a criminal, and even a communist. Consequently, Oppenheimer’s Q clearance, which allowed him access to classified information, was revoked, effectively ending his career in atomic research.

As the plot unfolded, it became evident that the roots of Strauss’s relentless pursuit of Oppenheimer were not founded on concerns of national security or ideological differences. Rather, they stemmed from an instance of personal humiliation at a Senate hearing where Oppenheimer had, inadvertently or not, made Strauss appear ignorant on the topic of isotopes. This seemingly innocuous event stoked a fire of resentment within Strauss, resulting in the cascade of events leading to the hearings.

Strauss’s reaction to this event serves as a stark reminder of how human pettiness can have far-reaching consequences. Instead of handling his emotions responsibly, he chose revenge as his path, leading to the tragic downfall of one of the nation’s most brilliant minds… And voila, here we see how human pettiness, when left unchecked, can warp one’s sense of perspective and result in actions that are out of proportion with the original offense.

The portrayal of Strauss’s vendetta against Oppenheimer serves as a cautionary tale about the damage caused by pettiness and the inability to forgive. It forces us to reflect upon our actions and the possible impact they can have on others, and by extension, on a larger scale. The depiction of these interpersonal conflicts in ‘Oppenheimer’ adds a rich layer of complexity to the film, making it a profound exploration of human nature as much as it is a historical drama.

This aspect of the film underscores how critical it is to handle disagreements and misunderstandings with maturity and grace. A lack of emotional intelligence and an inability to let go of minor slights can lead to destructive consequences – a reminder to myself as I go about my personal interactions in life as well.

While I’m not one to just completely accept the perspective that a particular film gives us because I do see how the lens of history is something that merits insight and thought, I do see the value of this particular interpretation in that it helps us to see a little bit of what came during that time and the life that Oppenheimer lived in a way I think that was valuable, offering some insight into things like for example his struggles maybe with communism, lovers, his engagement with the US government and also the process of navigating the development process of one of the most complicated and expensive projects ever executed in the entirety of human history to create a legacy that until today still makes people wonder, dream, and question themselves. 

It made me wonder to myself about the kind of legacy that human beings are leaving on this planet as we kind of go because no matter what it is that we we do, we’re going to be working, creating, and leaving somehow a legacy or reputation for ourselves upon the surface of the earth as we come and as we go.

In Malay, there is this proverb that goes, “harimau mati meninggalkan belang dan manusia mati meninggalkan nama”.

The meaning of this is that when a tiger dies, it leaves its stripes.

When a human dies, he or she leaves his or her name.

And that idea has always captivated me, no more so than with the example of Oppenheimer, because that name will forever be remembered as the name that heralded in the atomic age; appreciating that complicated legacy and being able to experience and imagine what it was like to be in that era and to participate in the decisions and thought processes that were taken was something that was incredibly valuable for me.

A wonderful performance from Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the cast; it was a tremendously enjoyable movie, and a wonderful way to remember the legacy of Robert J. Oppenheimer, the father of the Atomic Age.

And that’s it for me, over and out.


Didn’t know that this was going to become a highlight of my life, but I guess it did!

Just today, I finally received my keys to Palma Sands, the first property that I’d ever purchased in my entire life.

It was nice to drop by to Gamuda Cove, nice to learn for real that I’ll be receiving a house, and even nicer to know for sure that I’ll be able to afford it, to invest in more, and to be able to continue building my life on the shoulders of the mind that’s on my shoulders.

It’s exactly what I asked for many years ago, and it came to pass in a strange way that perhaps I hadn’t anticipated before, but came to pass nonetheless.

Am I glad?

Yes, very much so 🙂

Thank you to all of my clients who have supported me, to the people who value my thoughts even when they aren’t at their best, and to the ones who have stayed with me all this while from the beginning up till now even when I wasn’t at my best, noblest, most enjoyable, or caring 🙂

Looking forward to leveling up for all of you again soon!


One thing I’ve always felt captivated by is the strange feeling of realizing that you’re able to do something only after you’ve done it, not before – it’s weird because you don’t know how you’re going to have done it, but somehow or another, by the time you’ve actually done it, you’re left with some weird and heady mixture of feelings that just make you think…


Did I seriously do that?

The feeling’s always the same – like a sort of explosion of color, a sense that something happened that I can’t quite grasp; the world has changed, but in a way that was wholly unpredictable.

It’s kind of weird to see myself change, and frankly there are times when I look at myself and it seems like I’m just an observer looking inward – but there’s a lot to be thankful for.

Who would’ve thought that this would be such an interesting ride, in the way that it chose to manifest as an interesting ride?

Not me, haha.

I’m still figuring things out, though.

One step at a time!

The Challenge of Consistency

I want to make this space more into an authentic space, so here’s me trying to put more of my thoughts into place.

I wish that there was a way to hack consistency, to make it so that a person could just automatically do the things that they wish to do without any fear and without any barriers to entry; if there were such a thing, I think that life would be so much easier – we’d be able to show up every single day without any fear and without any favor whatsoever, and things would just become infinitely simpler day in and day out.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a short-cut to doing that, though – showing up on a day to day basis is a given, yes, but in order for a person to show up every single day to create things, they do need to have the willpower to show up every single day.

I’m not writing this to rationalize my not being consistent or anything of the sort – these aren’t justifications for a lack of consistency, but rather they are an acknowledgment of the actual difficulties that would face anyone who wants to try to become consistent; I list them below.

  1. To show up every single day, you need discipline and a process.

    In order to show up every single day, it’s essential for you to have a schedule in order to make things happen in the correct way and at the correct time – if there isn’t a regularity to the things that you do or your whims just adjust you in some direction that puts you conveniently out of reach of the things that you want to do, you’ll slip away and from slipping away, you’ll immediately fall out of what you aimed to do in the first place.
  2. To show up every day, you need self-confidence.

    Self-confidence isn’t the easiest thing in the world to develop – but it’s the most crucial thing to develop – the ability to just shrug off the slings and arrows of the world, to shrug off your own ego, to somehow be brave enough to have every single part of what you’re saying, thinking, and doing become a part of the record of the world.

    In other words, there are a couple of subdivisions of self-confidence that we have to think about:

    a) The ability to not receive any positive feedback or any sort of encouragement for what you’re doing, potentially over a very very long time.

    As human beings, we naturally want our work to be acknowledged, and we derive a lot of pleasure and joy from the affirmation of others; our work doesn’t take place in a vacuum, and it’s only natural that we would want others to celebrate us in some way, shape, or form – but what if that doesn’t happen? What if we never receive the audience that we expect, and this happens for a very long time? This isn’t something that most people can naturally bear.

    b) The ability to actually be good at what you’re trying to show up for.

    The reality is that no matter what area it is that you try to be good in, you’ll need to have some degree of skill in order to show up pleasantly, to receive good feedback, to actually create something that’s great by industry standards or something else; it’s not something that happens by accident, and certainly not something that occurs when your fingers trip and fall and cascade into the process of creating a novel.

    The reality of this world is that being good at something is not just about being consistent at doing things – it’s also about having a certain degree of talent.

    Those of us who say that you need to only just show up day after day seem to miss the possibility that well, it’s possible that a person might actually just *not* be talented at some of the things that they enjoy or want to succeed at.

    I mean, we want to deny that in many cases, but that’s possible, isn’t it?

    It’s reality and you can’t fight that.

    c) The ability to not self-criticize or drown yourself out with criticism to the point that you stop doing what you wish to do.

    The thing about trying to become great at something is that often, a person’s self can stop them from pushing forward, for the simple reason that they might think that they’re not good enough (and they may not be!) to receive the world’s attention.

    While it’s true that they may become better through practice, what happens is that their self-criticism drowns out any prospect that they had of becoming better by pushing them into a space where they think…

    “Hey, because I’m not good enough at this, maybe I shouldn’t even try anymore… Right?”

    Often times, we’re our most stringent critics, and our egoes stop us from putting out anything into the world that doesn’t meet our own exacting or demanding standards, which in turn makes it so that nothing happens, nothing changes, and we find ourselves left in the same position that we were in before.

Why did I write this in the first place?

I wrote this because I wanted to troubleshoot a part of my own personality and the way that I think about the world; I wrote it because I want to overcome this aspect of my personality that’s holding me back, and the answer isn’t clear – I wrote it because I want somehow or another to push past the most legendary difficulty that I’ve ever faced in this world and to make something that’s consistent and stands the test of the generations where what stands now is a record of repeated starts and stops that are a function of a nature that’s woefully ill-suited to that sort of consistency.

I wrote this because I want to grow as a person.

Scandal in Singapore

The recent scandal involving a fellow member of the Tan family in Singapore has rocked the entire of Singapore, revealing that in fact a political party made up of elites of the highest caliber can in fact be corrupt, can in fact be slave to the impulses that make up human beings at large.

I think it makes that party look all the more human though – it too is subject to flaws, as incredible an organization as it is, as well-constructed it is from the outside.

As human beings, we do have our flaws and our desires, our dreams and imperfections – all part of the oil that keeps the cogs running forward in a journey that for people at large is often long and intense; apparently millions of dollars in compensation, societal recognition, and other surface-level pleasantries that people fight for are window dressing – they are not guarantees that nothing will go awry in life.

What I’ve seen from Singapore lately has been shocking – something most unfortunate that has shown that no bastion is too high to fall, regardless of how well-constructed it is.

I am hoping for SG to come out stronger and am confident that the fundamentals are there, though.

On the Transformation of the Soul

Half of the things I did this year are things that I never imagined that I could do.

Almost all of the things I did this year were things I thought I never would do.

But I did them anyway.

If that’s not evidence that a soul can transform, I’m really not sure what is.

Have you ever watched your own soul transform, reflected on the things that you’ve done in the past year and considered how they affected your soul, your thought process, the way that you behave and think in this world?

I have.

I’ve witnessed ways in which my own personality has changed, how I’ve tried and performed many different things that I never even imagined that I’d try – musical instruments, new languages, new forms of business, writing books…

It’s been fascinating to watch, even if I don’t entirely know where all of it is going.

Still, this year, I’ve come to pay a deeper homage to nature and the gifts that it gives – the way that the soul reaches out from the confines that are beyond it to seek out things that align with it in a grand exercise by which somehow or another, it seeks its natural position and flourishes; like a flower that blooms in the midst of the radiance of sunlight, it is only natural that it should do so.

The human psyche is a complicated thing – so muddled, so chaotic, so filled with random things that a person might never be able to even appreciate in the course of a lifetime; I would certainly know – each time I close my eyes and begin to think about a space beyond, I find myself confronted with a hundred different thoughts that pass through like light trails on a highway, whizzing by as blurs that only take coherent form when you look at them to reflect upon what had come, knowing them only in retrospect.

I’m reminded now of the Steve Jobs commencement speech – about how the man could only see what had happened when he had looked back at his life and everything that had come by.

I don’t know the answer to what I’ll see when I personally look back, but what I do know is that well, it’ll probably be pretty interesting – so I’m glad for the ride to continue 🙂

Why Education?

It’s always been a little weird for me to talk about education and why I’m passionate about it, especially because I’m an Economics graduate – to say the very least, this isn’t the field or area that many people would’ve thought that I would specialize in.

I imagine that many people looked at me when I graduated and wondered – why would he want to go into education?

Well, the reason I do this all is simple: I’m just doing justice to my nature.

For one thing, I really enjoy learning new things and building up stores of knowledge; it’s something that I can literally do all day as I pick up new and interesting tricks, figure out things left, right, front, and center, and learn how to implement them inside my head.

That aside, I also enjoy understanding how to convey information in clear and easily comprehensible ways and leveling up my skill in doing so.

Lastly, educating people is a joy – it’s interesting to watch how people respond to my words and to teach them how to expose themselves to more advanced material while at the same time building their capabilities.

In my eyes, there is a strange beauty in knowing that every effort that you’re making to develop yourself will one day translate into developing the lives of other people around you and the way that they think and make decisions…

Yet at the same time I can’t help but feel that there’s always a bit of hubris along the way.

After all, the weird thing about talking about education is that it always involves talking about how well someone else has learned, when at the end of the day, the only thing that we can really speak about is the extent to which we have personally learned.

At the end of the day…

How can we really say how much we have learned? It’s kind of hard to do that, I think, especially since a person can go through the entire course of their lives but never really get a sense of who they are and what they’re about; even if a person spends all their time thinking and writing and reflecting, they may come no closer to the answer than they were before.

Having said that, though, I think I’m personally a little closer to the answer than I used to be many years ago – heavy on my thoughts, after all, is the constant recognition that I’m learning and growing as a person, a constant sense of appreciation and need, and the joy of knowing that the people whom I’ll see on a day to day basis are somehow glad to see me.

Do I know how they’ve changed as people, though?

In some ways, yes I guess; I can see the ways that their grades have improved and how that aspect of their lives has improved, and I can see the ways in which my thoughts have lent themselves into the reflections of my students.

Beyond that, though, how can I look inside another person’s mind and see what they see, what they feel, witness the foundation of their thoughts?

I guess I can’t – but it doesn’t stop this from being something that’s endlessly fascinating for me, as I bear witness to the work of my own hands in ways that I never imagined before, both on the battlefield of the exam world, and also in life at large 🙂