Life at Trinity: Conversing with Masters, Immersing in AweDublin, Fall 2008
Almost every time I tell someone that I’m going to Trinity College Dublin, they would look back at me in awe: “Oh, really!” Now that I’m getting used to such compliments, I still cannot help being caught in awe myself every time I step into the narrow wooden gate and feel the stones under my feet, one at a step.
Indeed, Trinity is almost the landmark of Dublin, both literally and metaphorically; literally, the city of Dublin was built around Trinity College after its establishment in 1592; metaphorically, or to be exact, culturally, Trinity is the birthplace of a vast galaxy of the most outstanding thinkers and writers in Ireland, as well as in the entire world: Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke, George Berkley, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett… the list goes on. Walking on the stone path on campus, I watch out for every breath I take: the breath I take is the air that has bred the most brilliant souls in the universe. Would the stone that stumbled me be the one that sparkled the inspiration of Wilde in composing a line in one of his witty plays? Would the stair that I sat on be the one that offered Joyce a place of rest when he became consumed of working on Ulysses? On the campus of Trinity, every stone on the ground, every brick on the wall is a place of possibility; great thoughts always come to mind all of a sudden when you look up the gorgeous Georgian buildings and wonder where the dove standing on the roof is flying to. I myself picked up my pen and wrote a poem when I sat on the bench in the garden to catch my breath after a long morning…
Studying at Trinity has been the luckiest thing in my life, even though only as a visiting student. It is an experience of conversing with the masters, even though wordless; it is an immersion in awe, an awe for the great thoughts human minds can ever produce, an awe for a country that has survived a long, scarred history yet still strong enough to preserve its own spirit and dignity, a power so overwhelming that I almost cried when leaning on the Campanile, watching the evening clouds stirred away by the stray birds, leaving the sky darker yet something bright was sparkling through.
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