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There is a theory that when you laugh, the left and right hemisphere of your brain is actually passing the information back and forth, simply because it won’t fit on either side. If it won’t settle in the mathematical, logical left nor in the artistic and intuitive right, it doesn’t belong anywhere. It’s a new and ludicrous concept that escapes your field of understanding. So you laugh about it.


I laugh a lot. I believe I’m able to find a reason to laugh almost everywhere, anytime and about or with 80% of living and non-living things. I also enjoy making people laugh. I especially enjoy making the more serious types split their sides in a fit of laughter. To the right group of people, I make a very fun addition. But in the classroom, it’s a different story. If I can find a way to joke about the school lunch, conjuring up witticisms about economics or Descartes’ philosophical views is no difficult feat. To my teachers however, this comes off as an “unprofessional and uncooperative attitude”.

 

Laughter, the best medicine?

 

It turns out, for my report card, a lack of laughter is the best thing it could get. So for a whole term, I cut out humour from my diet and donned a straight face, eight hours per day, five days a week. Slowly but surely, classes and lessons became more tiring and life at school as a whole, much less invigorating. Yet, my sister always says, “A school should be a place that never stops thinking.” If it is so, then isn’t it our mission to question every little thing that passes through our minds? To me, laughter isn’t a sign of unseriousness, but simply a new point of view.

 

Have you ever wondered why babies laugh more than adults do? To laugh at something is to look at it from a different point of view, a completely fresh perspective that renders the ordinary into something bizarre and amusing. It means to never accept things at face value, but to rather dig deeper and find the innate ridiculousness in the normalcy of society. In that sense, laughter is serious business.

 

A Bridge for Knowledge

 

The teachers whom I remember and towards whom I hold in the highest degree of respect are, coincidentally, the ones who make me laugh. Whether it is geography or biology, humour makes the difference between a good teacher and an inspiring one.

 

Perhaps this is because laughter is the bridge that connects work and play. Even the most arduous of work can become a joyful experience at the sound of a giggle.

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To Thu Phuong

One of the writers of the column Student Eye, Phuong is Vietnamese born and bred. A little (in fact a lot) smaller than her classmates, her voice makes up for her size. If you’re lucky, you’ll find her sitting on a plastic stool on one of the busy sidewalks of Hanoi, feasting on local street food.

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