06 October, 2009

My most hated school subjects

So, as I promised, the three subjects at school I've hated the most:

1) Art

I've always royally sucked at drawing, painting, and everything that is more or less a creation of art. I really can't express myself in pictures, I prefer words. I think I've had only one art exercise which I found interesting, and that was geometrical drawing. Very geeky, I know :)

In the past few years, my exposure to the visual arts has been pretty small. I haven't gone to any art galleries or anything, usually they're not my kind of thing really. But I still think, that I've learnt to appreciate art more than I used to. People who are able to express their inner selves visually, and also convey some of that to the public, are true masters. I admire their creativity, for I can never achieve feats like that.

What is art anyway? Why is that important? I'm puzzled by these questions from time to time, but am still unable to answer those. Is there really something in our world, that is only possible to be expressed in art? Is it really possible to transcend some borders of our rationale with art?

2) History

Yup, I really hated this as well - and these days I'm not very proud of it. As I was younger, I was really focused toward the future, and didn't feel like there was anything useful history could teach me. Another reason for me disliking, even hating history lessons was the details. The courses were all about remembering names, years and details. I found that prettu easy to achieve, but really unmotivating. I mean, what use is there to know that the longest piece left of the Berlin Wall is East Side Gallery, if you're unaware of the impact of the Wall on society, and the causes that led to it?

These days, I approach history with a completely different attitude. I don't even bother trying to remember details. If I can remember the correct century it's enough. What I'm looking for is patterns. Patterns in thought, ideas, and analogies derived from those patterns. All that is actually quite interesting, and it's nice to see what have been the worst pitfalls in argumentation throughout history. You'd be surprised to see how little things have changed over the centuries! For my reborn interest in history I owe a huge amount to my dear friend Martin R, who taught me what history of ideas is - thank you for that :)

3) Geometry

Now, people who have known me as a math geek in high school or before might find this surprising, but I've never really liked geometry. For me, it's way too visual, hands-on - and therefore, difficult! I can appreciate the beauty in geometry, but am unable to reproduce it myself. I get very easily stuck in geometry, and really don't "see" some things and implications that are obvious to others.

Of the three subjects, my relation to geometry has probably changed the least. I still dislike it! I remember when we had cylindrical and spherical coordinates last year at uni, I was all the time like "oh, dammit". It was really hard to figure out how you change from one coordinate system to another, 'cause understanding it required a lot of geometrical thinking! Guess I'm just one of those guys who prefers his math to be mostly equations and their applications. Not too much theory, that's pretty terrible as well - really makes you miss all those pictures in geometry!

Looking at my list of three evils, I still laugh at a web-test, which tries to figure out what is the best profession for you. My result - architect!