The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our Small Life

The spring semester is very much underway. Everyone is busy with classes, work, and attempts at maintaining as much of a social life as possible. Without doubt this will be a busy semester, not only because of the six classes I am taking but because like many other seniors who will be graduating this coming May I am experiencing an overwhelming anxiety-an anxiety that is triggered by the unknown.

For four years I have focused on being a good student and working a part time job. Too soon this routine will come to an end and the LMU “bubble” will no longer contain me. For the most part I am looking forward to moving on and seeing what comes next, on the other hand, I would not mind holding off on joining other adults in the “real world.” Now more than ever the days are flashing before my eyes as if someone was holding down the fast forward button on the remote. During my classes I have constant reality checks. Am I really a senior? Did four years of my life really go by this quickly? I also look around at my peers and can not help but envy those who are younger.

I am determined to have a great semester academically, not that I didn’t apply myself during previous semesters, but now I really see that there were times when I could have appreciated being a student a bit more. I look forward to going to every class I am taking this semester, including Systems of Energy Conversions an introductory engineering course for non-majors. This is the class I was least excited about taking, I had my fill of the sciences after taking biology, chemistry, and physics in high school. Surprisingly, Systems of Energy Conversions is keeping me interested.

In a recent lecture we learned about the laws of thermodynamics, a subject that deals with energy. While we were on this topic the conversation turned to solar energy and eventually to the universe and our relevance within this vast system. Wearing jeans, a gray v-neck and a peculiarly skinny scarf, the professor stood in front of the class talking about how Earth is so minute and insignificant in the grand scale of things. He referred to this as, “Our small life.”

This immediately reminded me of the day a friend showed me a short film on YouTube titled, “The Known Universe.” This film was developed by the American Museum of Natural History and it maps every satellite, moon, planet, star, and galaxy represented to scale and in its correct location. Starting from the highest elevation on Earth, the Himalayas, viewers are then transported through the atmosphere and then through the infinite universe. For the first time in a few weeks, during the duration of this short film, six minutes and thirty seconds to be exact, life seemed to slow down unexpectedly. Traveling through this virtual reconstruction of the universe, my life came momentarily into perspective.

My “small life” may not be perfectly planned out as of yet, but I am trying to look at the unknown as something to appreciate and be excited about instead of focusing on being anxious.

-Yvette Olguin


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