Last week I had injured my ankle after playing soccer and was pretty much on bed since then so that my leg would heal quickly. Thank god it was nothing more than a muscle sprain. As a result of sitting in the cozy 25s, oblivious to the dynamic weather outside, I really had lost touch with the “outside” world.
Until yesterday that is .. .
Yesterday while looking out from my window i found the weather foggy. Really really foggy. Thats in the afternoon I am talking about.. Fog at this time of the day was quite strange to what I had experienced here so far. Within a few moments, it started snowing….
White magical snowflakes filled with nature’s purity had started its seemingly abysmal journey from its cushion-y-soft parents floating placidly watching over us from the tall heights of the endless ocean that is the sky. It seemed to me that it was showering us mortals with something so pure and majestic, spreading a beautiful white blanket slowly… on everything thats below… on everything thats so trivial and short lived, compared to the nature itself..The nature was blessing us with something so limpid inspite of all what we do to hurt it… It really is very wonderful just to look at the wonderful snowfall which is remarkably quieter compared to its other half in equatorial climates, the rain. To top it all, it was the longest snowfall i ever saw. It started sometime in the “hot” afternoon with sun shining in the sky till the late hours of the dark night.. I just kept wondering, why there was snowfall at this time (may be its usual in seoul.. but it seemed unusual to me.. ).. not knowing why.. i drifted off to my dream world on my soft and puffy mattress…
The strangest part was that it was really long since there was a snowfall. If i remember correctly, the last snowfall was sometime in january and i thought that i had to wait for another year to see yet another snowfall. But until now…
The next day, that it today, i decided to resume going to my lab to get back to my academic work there. As a result of the long snowfall yesterday, everything around me was white. The color of purity.. I felt so invigorated and started me walk to the bus stop to catch the shuttle bus which takes me to Building 302, room 510-1, the multimedia and wireless networking laboratory, (my second home in Korea). At the bus stop and along the roads, quite unusual to say the least, i saw atleast 30-50 grandma’s and grandpa’s shops selling blossoms to the people around them and i saw so many parents with their children in the graduation suits.. Wait!! Thats when i remembered that today, the 26th of February 2008, was the graduation day for the SNU students.
Being the best institute in korea, let me quote couple of sentences from Wikipedia to emphasize the difficulty in getting in as a freshman here (I presume its much more difficult than IITs too.. correct me if i am wrong”.
Wikipedia says: “From 1981 to 1987, when an applicant could apply only to one university at a time, more than 80% of the top 0.5% scorers in the annual government-administered scholastic achievement test applied to SNU, many of them unsuccessfully. The fraction of SNU applicants among the top 0.1% scorers exceeded 95%. No comparable data are available for direct comparison between SNU and non-SNU applicants after 1988, due to an extensive change in South Korea’s college entrance system.”
I am sure that this fraction would have definitely become lesser and lesser year by year which resulted in SNU’s sudden incremental jumps in the Times Higher Education (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/) ranking over the last few years. Just for the record, in 2007, SNU stands on par with University of Texas, Austin. University of California San Diego, University of Washington, University of Winconsin Madison etc are the names of a few of the top 10-15 US Universities (according to usnews – http://www.usnews.com) which SNU has surpassed in academic excellence. I even heard that the Engineering Department in SNU is ranked even better. Since i don’t have much data to background it, i would limit the description of this point to what it is now..
As important as it is with the high rank of the college, the “lucky few” who get to pursue their studies in SNU are sent here with high hopes and anticipations from their near and dear ones. Though i am not in a position to say how many actually rises to it, I am pretty sure that pretty much most of them get through the grueling times successfully and TODAY WAS THE DAY!!
Yeah … today was the day when they could boastfully say to the world.. “Here we come. . Here we come to surpass the challenges you have laid for us in our lives. Here we come to make a difference in this world.”. Today was the day they could repay their parents who went through all the troubles to send them here with their achievements to make them happy. Today was the day when there would be proud tears in the eyes of all the parents to tell that “My son/daughter graduated.. now he is a professional with a Bachelors/Masters/Doctor degree”. Today was the day when each of the parents would be longing to see.. To see their sons/daughters in the black coat with the square hat.. The day they could see their children all grown up.. The children who are what they are, the way their parents dreamt of seeing as, when they were sent to SNU. The children who are placed in good companies or who would be going to other countries to pursue their passion for knowledge, in any case, with a career well structured. Any parent’s dream…. !!!
I rememberd my graduation day back in IIIT. Surely this day is one of the MOST MEMORABLE DAYS OF A STUDENT’S LIFE.. The culmination of all the hard work he has put in over the last few years.. To graduate.. Hence the title of this post..
May be the snowfall was the way nature showered its blessings on the budding to-be-successful professionals. May be it was the way for nature to show its happiness, inspite of all what humans do to ruin it. Every parent present in the ceremony today would have had happy tears in their eyes when their children’s names were called for awarding the certificate. May be this unexpected snow was our infinitely tolerant nature’s tears of happiness. As a mother who gave birth to each one of us, as a father who protects us and as a sibling to each and every one of us to play with.. May be nature was also shedding its happy tears and what else would be a better way to show it, that through its pure-white-magical snow….