Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Observation: The Fish Pond

Upon the completion of day 2 of The College  Experience, I meandered across the WSU campus searching for a place to sit until my mom contacted me for 'pick up' plans. Presently, I had spotted a nice little area outside of the Performing Arts Center surrounded by a low rising rock wall for sitting on. As I approached said area, I noticed that one of the walls was also the front barrier to a Kai fish pond. Fascinated that WSU would trust over 22,000 students not to harm the 30 or more Koi fish that swarmed around the pool, I sat down to watch the bright colored species. Most of them were a brilliant shades of orange or red, with about 10 white, and a few speckled. It was then that I noticed the odd one out. The 'weird' one. The obvious one. I named him/her Topivvy. This is why: Topivvy (whom I will now refer to as a female) is a white Koi fish. Topivvy was white like the other white fish, had fins like the other fish, two eyes, etc. however, Topivvy... Well, she's a little top heavy. Topivvy seemed to be born with lack of length, and an excessive amount of width for a Koi fish. All the other Koi's were long and slender and moved around the small pool with such ease. However, Topivvy's body weight was not as evenly spread out, and the huge bulge behind her head, that made her look like her body was uncomfortable scrunched up, dragged her front towards the bottom of the pool. When she moved forward, she sank, because her head was pointing down. I watched as she struggled to keep her head up and swim at the same time, but she failed. It was at this moment that I decided to start putting my scientific brain to work (as I'll be needing it for use in my chemistry class tomorrow anyway), and infer how the shape of Topivvy came about. Genetic mutation? Is this shape actually a common species of Koi? Genetic -experiment-? My mind began to wander, until I suddenly came upon a new observation. Topivvy was swimming by herself. All the other fish were weaving past each other in a general area, touching fins, seemingly talking to each other, and mixing. Topivvy, however, was struggling to keep her head at normal level, and hung out at the edge of the crowd, not bothering to mess with the harmony of the rest of the fish traffic by trying to swim into it. Suddenly, I realized it was a great time to apply my observations to life. As a new college student, I have found that it's very easy to walk through campus and try to avoid people. That way, I don't have to be responsible for making eye contact, or walking into an awkward situation with a fellow stranger. It's easy to plug in an ear bud and pretend to be listening to music, or to wear sunglasses to avoid people acknowledging you. It's easier to be invisible. While Topivvy wasn't invisible to me, she certainly went unnoticed by the crowd of fish. However, as you try to be invisible, and carry on, just remember. There is always someone watching. You will always be seen by someone. Despite my fascination of the crowd of fish, I still noticed Topivvy too. Because, simply put, it's humanly impossible to be invisible. So, instead of trying (and failing) to be invisible, and stick to yourself, I encourage you to put away those headphones, save those sunglasses for a blindingly bright day, and say hi! Smile! Make the world know you are HERE. Wouldn't you rather know that people see you, and that you can see people, rather than avoiding the fact? Maybe you're a Topivvy and you feel unacceptable, awkward, and struggle to keep your head up, but I can guarantee you will find a friendly face, a kind word, and maybe even a shoulder to lean on if you push into the crowd, instead of standing on the edge. And it's not to say that you need to blend in to the crowd- please! Be yourself. But don't be afraid to show it to other people. 
Trust me, I have experience with unacceptable, awkward, and thinking that I can be invisible.
I've definitely found my new studying area. 
My thanks to God for such a great beginning to a whole new life adventure, and giving me the inspiration to write this post. I have many apologies to give for neglecting my blog the past few months. I had so much I wanted to say, but no idea how to write it all down. I then decided to take one little moment in a day that stood out to me and expand from there, instead of feeling like I have to share everything with everyone! And look where it got me. 3 minutes of studying a Koi fish pond, and I've spent an hour typing philosophically. 
I'm hungry.