on taking the next step

Fifteen years ago, I acted in a school play that gifted me with an enduring love for the stage. The284 copy role – an eccentric professor – remains one of my favourites, because it challenged me to be a better actress while also giving me the opportunity to reconsider how I defined myself. When writing in the school magazine (yearbook) of a fellow actress that year, I signed it “Nushelle de Silva, PhD” as an inside joke, even though the title was semi-incomprehensible to my eighth-grader self. Today, I signed away the next five-ish years of my life to pursue doctoral study in architecture at MIT, a place wherein I’ve excitedly pursued the esoteric in the company of quirky, warm, good-humoured individuals whose journeys I am always, always inspired by. It has  been a difficult decision, in part because the opportunity to work on topics, questions, and ideas that fascinate me is an absolutely terrifying gift. It requires that I truly embrace the idea that my self-defined calling in life is to unearth, cackle maniacally over, and save from eternal obscurity documents and images like this photo of JFK being mounted on an elephant. Continue reading