Amid our ongoing research project, our professors decided to host a Jacuzzi party so that we can mingle, laugh and enjoy some pizza. I forget how important it is to just relax, especially when you’ve been working hard for a while, and I’m so glad to have joined the festivity, dipping my bug-bitten legs into the warm waters while listening to some music.
Events like these invite conversations, allowing you to not only see another side of person, but also to hear their opinions, their thoughts and viewpoints on life.
For instance, I had a nice conversation with Kennan regarding the vastness and mystery of the ocean and how we literally have only touched the surface of the biodiversity that exists deep in the depths of the ocean. We know so little as we have observed so little, which got me thinking about the importance of inquiry. I haven’t noticed, for example, as Kennan pointed out, that alcohol in general doesn’t have its own nutritional facts label just like all other FDA-approved products, such as cereals, eggs, even water. I haven’t even asked myself until a few days ago either that the hummingbirds I’ve been observing for my research project are not simply hummingbirds, but a Green Violet-ear, a Magenta-throated Woodstar and a Coopery-headed Emerald among others that compete for the some of the same resources and may affect the population growth of one another’s. One of the most important things I’ve learned here in Costa Rica was the power of observation not only of human behavior, which based on my cognitive science, theatre and design background I generally pay most attention to, but also of non-human species, such as monkeys and monocrops, of abiotic factors ranging from precipitation to elevation, of your immediate surroundings, especially in nature. There are things there that meet more than the eye, and quite literally too—birds to hear, air to taste, fertile ground to feel, leaves to taste (sometimes), snakes to avoid and those goddamn horseflies to annihilate. We live in our own human-centric bubble and often forget that the world beautifully interwoven, intricate and complex is more than what we believe it to be, more than what we can possibly understand. Just think of the thousands of combinations and evolutionary years it took to get to a beetle crawling on your hand, a butterfly feeding, mating, landing on your shoulder, which in the next second can fly instantly away. Think of how it got to us; we are the ants of the keyboard after all, barely comprehending, as the difficulty of quantum physics likes to remind us, the mechanisms of how this world came to be. Yet evolution has enabled us the capacity to understand and understand more. Our very being is enough to learn, to experience, to see. Observation has not only led to our greater understanding of the physical world, but also the inspiration of different ways of thinking, creating and innovating in a world beyond called imagination.
Maybe one day, Newton’s apple may even jolt my brain a bit. It might even take place in a Jacuzzi.