All for One

Thankful Thursday and I’m tired and exhausted and starting to feel the first week of school getting to me. Physics and Calculus every day overwhelming enough as it is, plus computer programming, a rush across campus for yoga (which is only relaxing after I get there), and tutoring in math. It’s busy. But I enjoy it (until I get home and feel it all get to me). All this running around and doing stuff, however, leaves me little time to think about being thankful.

But it somehow leaves me plenty of time to think about people. I mean, it’s people that I’m around all day.

9. Networks

Network theory still being a bit above my head (and, yes, it’s actually math; the study of Facebook isn’t quite to the scientific level yet), but I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know about human networks. And human networks astound me–and for good reason: You get connected to one person, and you’re automatically part of their network, too.

(In this sense, Facebook’s made it easy–and perhaps uses the science of network theory already.)

So. It began a while ago. Like, last year. I met people. Some of those people I only knew of by name, others I actually came to know…and now many of them are back in my life: One of my first math classmates, two of my second math classmates, and one gentlemen I met last fall out of class are all in my math and science courses this semester. A man from the SGA whose name I knew of is also in my Physics class. And not to mention, being on multiple club councils and being a Student Ambassador have introduced me to more people than I can imagine–contacts that are both resources and friends. Such as one man who, in addition to being great with deep and philosophical discussions of all kinds, is quite informative about netbooks, which I’m currently interested in with the hopes of possibly being able to purchase one if I’m able to set aside the money.

On the one hand, I’m not surprised by social networks. They’re powerful and colossal and create connectivity, and we as humans cannot stand to be alone. We crave groups. We crave it so much we categorize everything we see into groups. And then we make sense of those groups, and where they interact, networks form.

On the other hand, I’m awed that I’m a part of so many networks: I’m an introvert, and a year ago, I considered myself quite shy (now I know that shyness and introversion are not equal, and although I am an introvert, I am certainly not shy). Still, when I take a step back and think about all the people I know, and think about how many people I met a year ago that are suddenly prominent figures in my life again, it’s stunning and almost mind-numbing.

And yet on another hand, as I delve into the realm of computer sciences, I’m awed by another form of network, one that’s perhaps the best well-known network there is: The Internet. But I won’t go into great depth here, since I’m tired, and I feel like I’m rambling senselessly, and I think I might want to save the Internet itself for another Thursday.

Yes. Networks are all around us. And I’m thankful to be a part of them–of each of them. But I think, in a way, it’s not the network itself that I’m thankful for, but for all the people in it that make being part of it so worthwhile. Thank you.

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