Choosing a single number, a single image or a single anything to represent a large and diverse community was never an easy task. Perhaps this is why most democratic elections are so challenging, be it to realise, to follow or to compete in. Yet, they are so intriguing, undeniably magnetising. In a way, voting and elections satisfy one of our most basic human needs to voice ourselves, and in extension, to take part in moulding a solid identity for our community.
“Think of it this way, half your competition’s gone.” The context of this quote; a conversation with college counsellors about the perks of all-women colleges. Taken out of context, it could also be the complete opposite; an argument for the perks of all-men colleges.
From kindergarten to ninth grade, whenever we had to move around as a class we were always told to line ourselves up in pairs. Two-by-two, we’d hold hands and go from recess to classroom, classroom to classroom, anywhere. Why must it be in pairs? Why must we line up in twos and not threes, or fours?
There is a theory that when you laugh, the left and right hemisphere of your brain is actually passing the information back and forth, simply because it won’t fit on either side. If it won’t settle in the mathematical, logical left nor in the artistic and intuitive right, it doesn’t belong anywhere. It’s a new and ludicrous concept that escapes your field of understanding. So you laugh about it.
As teenagers at the peak of curiosity and discovery, we tend to come up with weird ideas that are disturbing to some. Obscure thoughts and questions pop up in our heads. For example: “What would our brains look like on a plate?”
If you take a look at most of my school’s garbage cans, specifically the ones placed next to water fountains, you’ll find these neat fill tubes, affectionately decorated with green recycling stickers.
Many high school seniors around the world are going through what I’m going through — that ‘last period’ before making the transition to another stage of life.
Distance doesn’t have to be geographical to be real. You could spend eight hours with your classmate, five days every week. He or she could be sitting right next to you in class, eating with you in the canteen, but that invisible distance will still be there to separate you.
A magician says: “Pick a card! Any card!” and you pick the card. Suddenly the number on that card means so much to you. For some reason, it became your number. The number you were born to, even though you didn’t even care about it when you learnt how to count. But now, it carries a whole new meaning.
It’s baffling how numbers can play such an important role in our lives. Everyone knows. Students know.
In a couple of weeks, as the beautiful pink petals of the peach blossom tree cover the streets, living rooms and the backseats of motorbikes, our wallets will also bloom with li xi (Tet lucky money). New and old faces will meet, greetings and blessings will be shared, and red envelopes will pass from the hands of the older to those of the younger.