This is the last week of NUS classes, and I’m typing from the last class of Southeast Asia: a changing region. A large class in seminar room, contains of approximately 300 students.
We are wrapping up the whole semester context, for the next 3-weeks upcoming exam. We get through an explanation about how to get straight A, how to successfully manage your 1,5 hours on the spot, and how to overcome the stress (yes, most of students in this class are freshman, and I kinda feel like one! :P).
The overview module is all about the changing circumstances upon Southeast Asia. The historical background that shaped Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and East Timor as an entitled region. Thus it impacts the current and future situation. We once being asked to imagine the unicorn and reached consensus that both the region and the countries that made up combine elements of the real and the imagined. Just like unicorn.
I like this duo lectures, they are my favorite. It ticks my mind when the lecture ask the question about our own unicorn.
“What is your unicorn look like?”
“Purple.” one student answered.
“How about you?”
“Mine is have the curly tail” another whispered.
“What is the unicorn’s religion? Why he/she believes so? What makes him/her purple? Is the curly-tail one different with the other unicorn? How different and why it is not the same?”
Then I giggle for a while. This is funny. When I was young, imagination is just imagination. I just needed to believe that I had some imaginary friends that once I named “Catherine” that always came talk to me before I get sleep (she lived in my wardrobe by the way), and a spoken-tree in front of school named “Manny”. I talked to them, and I didn’t need to put so much effort to ask why I create them.
Now, I think I know already.
Less satisfaction on the childhood surroundings that did not fulfill my thirsty of adventure, story in film that did not even fit with the reality, and the circle of friend that sometimes didn’t understand the terms that I copied from somewhere else in the book, slowly accumulated to a depression symptoms for a 10 y.o. me.
I grown up at Sungailiat, Bangka. A rural area with late trend of technology, routine blackout of electricity, 1,5 hours trip to Pangkal Pinang, the capital city only to find a Gramedia, the only reliable bookstore at that time. My mother is the only equal partner for discussion, but somehow she also did not able to catch up with the wild imagination that her lovely daughter has as the result of long lasting, sickness, and over-admiration of the magical world, where at least acknowledge something weird to be a common sense. Blame it to J.K. Rowling!
This is what constructed me in a growing up phase. When I felt different, when I felt like no one understand me, I imagined a friend whom I can talked to.
Imagination doesn’t come out of no where. It takes something to put that picture in our head, customize it to the perfect shape we wants, and drive it to counter the unsatisfaction of the ordinary life ahead. Imagination is the strongest point of view. It illuminate our subconscious, stimulate our right side of cerebrum, and left us, as a human, intoxicated.
We should keep it in mind, that imagination is not only flash escape. It is a human agency to reflects the protest. And a silence protest, is a strongest one. Like a fingerprint, it obviously shows who we are, and why we are the way we are.
Sound logically scientific. Nah, my lectures should be proud of me. Now… what is the question for the exam, again?