So What’s High School (Part 2)

Academics Phenomena

Study! Study!

Study! Study!

There is a certain kind of academic competition in high school that is definitely different in the academic competition that we usually have in college.In my opinion, most of these competitions I’m talking about are quite destructive, quite shattering for those people who are perfectionists and achievers.

I’ve experienced something like this in high school.I’m just an average student; sometimes I can roll the ball, sometimes I fail to hit it.But the thing is, you put so much premium on how good grades would affect your overall personality as a teenager, and you tend to believe that the possibility of this could make other people envy you, or you can have as many friends or suitors if you like.Competition is tight and quite intense at this moment – most teenagers wouldn’t want to let their guards down against their so-called ‘academic enemies’.I think that’s normal.Everybody goes through that, even if it’s only a brief moment of it.

When I was in high school, I admit that there’s nothing more important in my academic life than achieving high scores (or passing scores – applicable to math).I would gripe over low test scores in contrast with my other classmates, and this made me really terrible.I would study real hard at night, memorizing terms that never really etched in my brain the way they should be.Memorizations were just a momentary academic drift that’s purely cerebral, just for the sake of answering the teacher’s objective questions.Students would raise hands in class – academic battles include shouting, debating, confrontations and interruptions. I began to join clubs to get extra curricular points, not minding that a club can be a nurturing niche that would enrich your perspective in the same interests that holds the essence of the group.For me, clubs were only for the heck of it, and I won’t mind what would be the philosophical undertones – it’s just a matter of achievement and popularity in terms of academics.There is no such thing as personal and essential growth as a person in high school.You could realize that there exists something like that – even just a glint – when you get a little mature.And you are lucky if you get to mature early in highschool. When I reach college I begin to see things clearly.A little maturity and more experience do matter.

Looking Into the Future

I saw National Geographic Channel’s feature about Nostradamus in Nostradamus: Is it Real and was utterly surprised to saw the same topic again in Discovery channel in Nostradamus: the Truth at least two days after. It was weird, but maybe that’s how competition goes. Ha-ha!

Well, almost everybody knows about Nostradamus, who was extremely famous for his prophecies. It was said that his book of prophecies was sold in very large numbers, and widely circulated all over the world. In both features, they tried to present if these prophecies were really real, or just purely coincidental. His glimpses to the fate of mankind were mostly depressing views of the world, written in different language of French, in a style that depicted clearly the raw visions of his mind.

To give you a background story about how I got acquainted with Nostradamus, I was told off when I was 10 to get ready for the end of the world. Whoah! I was really scared back then, because in that coming year (that was 1999), there would be complete darkness to hover all over the world and widespread hunger where the King of Terror would descend to the Earth. We all panicked there, (hehe, the kids in the neighborhood and old people) about the coming of what we believed as The Judgment Day. But nothing happened. There was no darkness for the coming years, there was no such thing as end of the world (though there was still widespread hunger in other parts of the world and a few eclipses) but still life went on. Now, its year 2008, and everything is running in its usual course. So what the heck just happened at that time?

Did Nostradamus make a very grave mistake OR did we make a huge mistake in interpreting his prophecies?

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A famous historical event that we can associate with Nostradamus is about Catherine d’Medici and King Henry II ofFrance. Catherine read the book of prophecies of Nostradamus, and summoned him to look into her king’s fate. And Nostradamus predicted the death of her husband – a one quatrain that troubled the queen that tells about King Henry II’s death. And it did happen. It was said that that was the first time that Nostradamus successfully looked into the future.

But there was more: the predictions about the Great Fire of London in 1666, the rise of Hitler, the atomic bombs dropped inHiroshimaandNagasaki, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Although there were seemingly perfect matches, science does not support it. Although many people believe that Nostradamus might have acquired divine inspiration or paranormal abilities, scientists still believe that it is utterly nonsense.

There were also few misinterpretations of the prophecies, some dates written in the quatrains were recalculated, and we cannot deny the fact that because of manual ‘publishing’ of the prophecies, people involved might constantly and unintentionally change the words which only added errors. Then, the original quatrain might have been misprinted by hand, and this is also because of the mistranslation of Nostradamus’s complicated French. He was so careful in anything that he said in the prophecy because of the height of the Inquisition.

But this is my take: the language that Nostradamus used in his prophecy is ambiguous, generally, and this vagueness, I personally think, is responsible for the increase of probabilities. What I think is that he was not looking into the future, but referring back to historical past events, knowing that the astronomical patterns involved in his passion for astrology, would always follow the same historical pattern.