Sunday, March 07, 2004


Rest is good. I have spent a very lazy weekend trying not to think of two more impending application deadlines or the results of those already submitted. At some point, I came close to calling it a day with the applications. Afterall, Stanford R3 is a joke. Two acceptances is the average ? come on, i might as well buy $200 worth of lottery tickets. Wharton - I haven't started working on my essays yet, but almost all essay questions are repeats of those I've answered elsewhere. No decisions yet, so I don't know if my essays 'work' or not. If they do, well i'll have other acceptances and W might not matter. If they don't, then I probably won't get into W either. Interesting situation, huh.

Is the pain of two more weeks lost to essays really worth it ?

I started to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho last night and finished it this morning and found my answers. I know it sounds corny, but this is one of those stories. It's about a boy who is searching for a treasure to be found at the pyramids. He encounters an alchemist in the desert who helps him get there. Obviously, as he gets closer things get harder.

"So what should I do now?" the boy asked.

"Continue in the direction of the Pyramids," said the alchemist. "And continue to pay heed to the omens. Your heart is still capable of showing you where the treasure is."

"Is that the one thing I still needed to know?"

"No," the alchemist answered. "What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'
"Every search begins with beginner's luck. And every search ends with the victor's being severely tested."

The boy's journey begins from a church in Spain and his dreams lead him all the way to the pyramids but in the end bring him back to the church where he started from.

"You old sorcerer," the boy shouted up to the sky. "You knew the whole story. You even left a bit of gold at the monastery so I could get back to this church. The monk laughed when he saw me come back in tatters. Couldn't you have saved me from that?"

"No," he heard a voice on the wind say. "If I had told you, you wouldn't have seen the Pyramids. They're beautiful, aren't they?"



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