I wish things were that simple! Before I went to college, all I knew was that stress was something the elders had – money, food, time for kids, etc. When I got into engineering, I learned that there were different kinds of stress, and to top it all off, there were equations to measure them! There’s the normal stress, the shearing stress (it’s the type of stress that helps scissors cut paper), and the bearing stress. Simply speaking, the stress I knew before engineering was more of the emotional kind. The stress I learned about in engineering was more mechanical and only applicable to things, not people and feelings. Confusing eh? I guess I just gave you a sneak peek of how it goes in the engineer’s mind.
There is an advertisement by Mercedes-Benz that I keep seeing in the internet. It’s the right vs. left brain ad which shows the distinction between the two: the left brain is more logical, strategic, and scientific, while the right brain is more passionate, creative, and free-spirited. It’s easy to see which category I might belong to, given that I’ve been in the Science and Technology field for the past 10+ years. And I’ve always been a frustrated pianist and sketcher, so I guess that verifies that my left brain is more dominant than the right.
I was in my last year in elementary school when my parents decided that I would go to a science high school. In the Philippines, a science high school was a school with an advanced curriculum in the math and sciences. After graduating, we were required to take a subject in the pure sciences or engineering fields for college. And that is how I ended up graduating with a degree in chemical engineering. Well at first I was only driven by my love for science in general (because that’s the only subject I got high scores in, haha) but as I grew older, I learned to understand the language of science and that got me more curious and inspired to pursue higher education and research.
So what exactly is the language of science? They say that Italian is the language of love, French is the language of business, and German is the language of science. Well, I can’t speak German but I do understand that blood, in general, is made of chemical substances that can help in the functions of the human body. Maybe to a right brain-dominant person, blood can mean passion, sacrifice, and courage. See, for scientists, everything has to be specific and concrete. Scientists follow the Scientific Method when thinking – they identify a problem first, make a guess on the outcome, research, and make a conclusion. I’m not familiar with how artists think but I guess for artists, things are deeper in meaning – what they make are expressions of what they feel, so the output of artists are more descriptive and symbolic.
Since I’m artistically challenged (don’t even try to make me draw a turtle), I guess my left brain is indeed more dominant. Maybe that’s why I can’t just memorize phrase books when I’m learning a new language. I want to study it from its skeleton (the grammar) to the more advanced levels (using the grammar rules to make sentences and keep conversations).
In the end, it doesn’t matter which side of the brain is more dominant or which language we speak. Stressed will always be desserts spelled backwards, no matter which way we look at it, and so is language. It’s always there and we can always use it in our own way to express our points. We just have to be comfortable with it, and use it in a positive and less stressful way!