American Museum of Natural History

Throwback Thursday

On the Pursuit of Knowledge

There are two things that truly embodied my childhood; frequent visits to The American Museum of Natural History and monthly issues of National Geographic. I was constantly inspired to try new feats and see new sights. I went through several career aspirations; mad scientist (i.e. little Suman’s idea of a chemist), marine biologist, archaeologist, Egyptologist, writer, musician, English teacher abroad, architect, just to name a few. The first time I visited the AMNH was in first grade of elementary school. Went with my parents almost every year after that. I also went there on a school field trip in second grade. We learned about rocks and minerals and came away with goody bags full of inspiration. I coveted my clear rock-filled pencil, geology coloring book, and collection of rocks. That day has a special place in my memories. It epitomizes everything I love about learning; the thrill of discovery (and shopping at gift stores). The Hayden Planetarium was also a favorite every time I went with my dad. Not too long thereafter, my dad subscribed to the National Geographic print magazine (funny how I have to mention print, versus digital nowadays). National Geographic was my first taste of armchair travelling. The brightly colored photographs and eloquent writings opened the world to me. I learned new words and explored new lands with every turn of the page. AMNH and National Geographic supplemented my education in a way nothing else could.

On the Definition of Heaven
As young as age 8, I dreamed of college. I’m not sure where I picked up the word or the idea of it. But I was obsessed. I knew of no Ivy names or personas in academia. At the age of 8, my oldest friend was a sixth grader. She was mature and intelligent. I imagined her gearing up for college after sixth grade graduation. Nobody told me the journey was a little more complicated than that. Anyway, picture a pristine campus full of white marble buildings in Gothic architecture and patches of lush green grass, beams of sunlight trickling magically through clouds with angels serenading me in the background. That was the heaven inside my head.
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