Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Henry Yeung, Professor of Economic Geography at NUS for 45 minutes after class.
I hope that this is the start of a long and fruitfulprofessional friendship, one that I hope will extend beyond my undergraduate
days here in NUS. I simply have not been inspired, (and at the same time,
challenged) to this extent in a long time. I imagine that it would be a truly
humbling experience to have Prof. Yeung as a thesis advisor – his PhD
supervisor is none other than Peter Dickens, who is one of the most influential economic geographers ever
to grace the field. In fact, if you have ever heard or come across the term ‘global
shift’ in your studies or in your newspaper of choice, you are in fact reading
material drawing on Dicken’s work (all the way back in 1986!).
a thesis under Yeung would mean being ‘plugged into’ this transnational network
of knowledge created by these two great thinkers.
week back I met Muhammad, a Year 4
Geography student who really altered my perspectives on geography and undergrad
life. I wish to thank him for being so warm and genuine. Beyond that, Muhammad
is incredibly generous and forthcoming with his knowledge. Always eager to engage
us intellectually in discussion despite knowing that I and the rest of the
Geo-Trail group at Bishan-AMK Park are not as able and intelligent, he is a
rare soul that I have had the pleasure of meeting.
can only wish that I can be as sharp and wise by the end of my undergrad journey
in NUS Geography. I wish him all the best in his career as a police detective.
Further back, I met Xuan
Kai, another Year 4 Geography student who despite his unassuming, kind and soft-spoken
demeanor, possessed an incredible ability for Economic Geography. He wishes to
be an academic.
In between the morning and afternoon Captain’s Ball matches
at this year’s Arts Open, we talked about life and about Geography (this is
what geography nerds do, okay). From him, I learned about the concept of subjectification of financial subjects,
which is one of the central concepts I am critiquing in my essay assignment for
my economic geography module. It is beyond the scope of my module, so thank you
Xuan Kai for the inception of this idea.
There were couple other conversations that I really enjoyed (and needed) recently, but what I want to say is this.
I’ve learnt, and continue to learn, time and time again that
you can gain so much as a person from
talking and getting to know the people around you, some of whom will be more
distant and difficult to reach than the rest.
I’ve tried to apply
this little philosophy of mine to my travels in Tembusu College. (Open Day 2015
was the perfect opportunity for this, too. hahaha). I can say without regrets
that I have done this. But life is also more than just about the orientation
groups and college houses that you belong to. I recognize that talking to
others beyond the social circles that you are ‘placed’ into is difficult, but
it can yield so much.
So, if you have the time, and energy, strike up
a conversation. You never know what could happen. You might learn something
new, or make an indelible mark on someone’s life.