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Curiosity makes everything fun

Everglade's picture

I'm a little astonished as I recall my childhood.I had a schedule perfectly "crammed with activites that are productive, educational and fun". I practiced piano an hour a day since kindergarden, but my major memory of that time is still running and swinging in the twilight. I guess that's because I went to a great kindergarden: the hardest math we ever did was copy-writing numbers. My weekend schedule was filled with piano, drawing, ballet, calligraphy classes, but I never felt tired and I still got time to fly kites, climb mountains or just lay on the grass. The reason why I could do so many things at the same time as a kid is that, fortunately, I was curious about almost everything in the world so I enjoyed all the classes. They were not tiring burdens but just another form of play, an opportunity to do something interesting. So as long as a child is not forced to learn something he hates, "productive education" and play are not contradictory.

Bloomberg's essay about serendipity reminds me of a delighting experience. One year ago I went to Hong Kong for the SAT subject test with some classmates. My test ended at noon, but I had to wait until 5 pm for the airport bus to arrive. So I wandered in a huge mall near the hotel, but it bored me very soon with Hong Kong style clothes and people speaking cantonese and hundreds of store playing different noisy music, and my legs were heavy walking up and down the 12-floor mall. Then I walked across a store. I didn't even turn my head to look at it because a glance was enough to tell that the clothes were not my style at all. But for some reason, I stayed and stood there for ten minutes - the song. The song, with it's strange accompaniment and childish voice, allured me and lighted up the tiring and unpleasant afternoon. The chorus haunted me so I searched for the song after I went home, and the singer is now one of my favorites.