On Sept. 5, Jason Silva visited our school. For those who don’t know who he is, Jason has been described as a Wonder Junkie, an Epiphany Addict, a Remixer of Optimism, a Curator of ideas, innovation and awe, and a latter-day Carl Sagan. Here’s Neiha Lasharie’s blog post about her reaction to Jason’s visit.
By Neiha Lasharie, 14 Sept. 2012
So yesterday, we got some last minute good news. That good news was promptly followed by what is possibly the best beginning to a school year in the history of school.
Jason Silva, a film-maker, a TV presenter, a futurist and performance philosopher, had been in Dubai for a few days. He’s been such an inspiration to us all for a long time that, you know, the possibility of him being in the same city as us was kinda…kinda ridiculous in itself. On a whim, my English teacher emailed him saying what an absolute pleasure it would be for us if he passed by our school at some point in his trip.
It was a pretty long shot but the fact that Jason even considered it given his busy schedule was exciting enough, but the fact that at exactly 3:21pm, on the 4th of September, I received an email from my English teacher in supersized font practically screaming through the computer screen that JASON SILVA WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO VISIT OUR SCHOOL-
Yeah. I still can’t wrap my head around it, let alone talk about it with a fraction of the eloquence with which Jason indulged our intellectual fantasies.
It was just amazing. This video is one of his many incredible snippets of inspiration that have – you know, fittingly – inspired me and some of the most brilliant people I know to be on the warpath for daily intellectual immersion.
And the best part was how absolutely humble Jason was. Throughout the whole thing, he seemed as enthralled as we were.
Hell, I got my little commonplace book signed by him! And I got a hug! I won’t lie, I was unashamedly squealing, but so was everyone else. When he first walked through the door, I’m not joking, my heart actually stopped for a little while. Someone we’ve only seen in videos, someone who has brought tears to my eyes and made me actually sob with the sheer passion of his words, his awe-inspiring honesty, in the flesh, before me, talking to me, making eye-contact with me, hugging me!
I’m not the only one who feels this way. The hashtag #jasonsilvawinchester is littered with people who were as overwhelmed as I was. The head rush of intellectual ecstasy is still so mind-boggling, 12 hours after his entrance into our school, and the fact that it was lovingly instigated by such a genuinely good human being makes it even better.
I wish this man – who encouraged us to keep in touch with him and patiently, even happily, entertained all our flailing fan-girling – all the luck in the world, and all the popularity that his work demands and deserves.
One day, I will meet him again, and I will have made something of myself. We all will. And until that day, I have fond memories, hastily jotted notes, a couple of autographs, pictures, a hashtag, and the ghost of possibly the best hug I will ever receive to keep me going.
Here’s to you, Jason. Thank you for everything.