Thursday, February 5, 2015

Conference Chronicles: Age of Penance

At the TRB Conference in Washington, DC, in discussion with my research colleagues, we discussed about life after college, when there's an idea that one knows everything and deserves the very best. Of course, this bubble is burst even before leaving college, when networking exposes you to the grim realities of life with a real job. But there's quite a lot that one quickly learns in their early 20s, fresh out of college.

Then, as my colleague out it, the 20s is the age of penance for anybody. Fresh out of two decades of being protected, first in school and then in college, it is an entirely new world out there! One thinks one knows everything, only to realize that one knows nothing at all - for that is the yawning gap between theory and practice today.

Some of my friends complain about all the work they have to do. I myself come home just to sleep - and that's been the case for the last year and a half. Such is the age we live in! And what keeps us going - our dreams. As Ayn Rand said (Atlas Shrugged):

The highest thing in a man is not his god. It's that in him which knows the reverence due a god. You are my highest reverence.

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