The world today seems just a little over-competitive. Perhaps this is just my mindset from an exam that will be curved in one way or another, knowing that no matter how much I like my classmates and want them all to do well, I am still competing with them, even if it’s indirectly. That feeling is new to me and I don’t like it very much. Fortunately, for me Integrated Science has been and will continue to be much more about cooperation, encouragement, and collaboration rather than competition.

Walking back from the exam room, my cheery ‘the semester is done and I’m not going to think about anything serious for the rest of the day’ mood was shaken when I saw two birds plummet out of a gutter-top nest. One of them was mostly still and the other was attacking it with claws and beak; a girl walking by squealed “it’s killing that bird” and ran away quickly. The situation did look rather gruesome and I was about to turn away as well when I noticed that the tone of the battle had changed, and now both birds were going at each other full force. It became quite a wrestling match as they flew at each other and pushed and scratched.

After a bit they pulled apart and made cooing, cheeping noises not at each other but towards the nest they had come out of. I could only assume that there was a female in there they were both trying to impress. After a few more bouts of wrestling (each one looking like it would end bloodily) they raced up to the nest, only to push each other back out and start all over again. I hope the female could tell them apart because despite their epic battles I certainly couldn’t.

So there you have it: today is defined by competition in both the natural and academic worlds.

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