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My Intent To Study

July 3, 2011

My textbooks!

Perhaps it is my intense curiosity and restless, wandering feet that have instilled the love of literature and linguistics within me. Opening a book, falling into a story, meeting characters from far off places with diverse expressions has taken me on many more adventures than I will ever realistically be able to experience. In The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri writes “that’s what books are for … to travel without moving an inch.”
Years before I was allowed to circle the block on my bike, I was trekking through jungles with Kipling, battling pirates with Stevenson, and interpreting runes with Tolkien. The written word is my favorite art form. Language is organic and full of life; it breathes meaning into objects and communicates thoughts from being to being. Indeed, books can lead us down many a rabbit hole, safely, comfortably within our rooms. However, I have never been satisfied with comfort. I want to meet these characters and see these places closely. The imaginary friendships of youth have now melted into relationships equally as diverse and expontentially more statisfying. Ana Rosa, the Mexican school nurse, Wilhem the South African sheep farmer, and Saharu the Japanese speed skater are as engaging and fascinating as Baloo the Bear, Blackbeard the pirate, and Bilbo Baggings the hobbit. Having the ability to speak to them is a privelege. Communication is the key to exploration.
The world, in all its vastness, is seemingly shrinking. Technology has made the most remote Amazonian tribes accesible to those in the concrete jungle. Online translation and video chat is changing the way one communicates with the rest of the world. The concept of a global community is certainly becoming tangible. Despite the instantaneous connections being made, there are still gaping holes in our understanding of each other. Offense and hatred erupt every day with violent repercussions. Again, communication is the key to building bridges, joining the opposing sides from across the chasms of misunderstanding. This is my lifelong pursuit. My study of language may not heal the world, though it will lead me into a lifestyle of dialogue with strangers. Once one is able to express and receive meaning, strangers have the ability to transform into friends. Building community is not a simple task but it is where I shall endeavor, and find it the most worthwhile, to expend my energy.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2011 11:18 pm

    You have spoken my mind. And this magic lies not only with the reader, but with the writer as well. I wrote a poem about it recently. Let me know what you think

  2. August 6, 2011 9:12 am

    Hi Jennifer. I’m brazilian and I like to watch your videos. As you may know, the next soccer world cup will be in Brazil in 2014. Many people will go to Brazil in order to see this big event. But most of them don’t know the reality in Brazil. So, before come to Brazil, everybody needs to watch this video:

    I don’t know if you are going to Brazil. Maybe yes. Even if you are not going to Brazil, you may know somebody who wants to go. So, show them this video

  3. August 30, 2011 6:34 pm

    Reading has opened my mind to a vast, fascinating world. The way you enjoy reading fiction, putting yourself in the varied characters minds, I devour non-fiction books. I read books about astronomy, and the cosmos and I imagine myself in a exploration space vehicle, heading up close to view the star forming regions of Orion, floating past the black hole in the center of our galaxy. I see the planets revolving around stars that scientists have discovered by the radial velocity of the stars not quite making sense, or the drop in brightness of the star during a transit of the planet.

    I enjoy reading about politics, as you can gather by my blog

    I would very much enjoy conversing with you in the future. I lived in Japan for five years as a child, my mother is Japanese, her family is in Kyoto and Kobe. I am 54 years old, but my memories of Japan are still fresh, as though we were there yesterday.

  4. A Modern Girl permalink
    September 3, 2011 5:12 am

    Love your blog! I just wanted to invite you to participate in this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri on the theme “Reasons to Visit Japan.” The Japan Blog Matsuri is a monthly blogging showcase that’s been around for years, and it would be great if you’d consider participating. For more information, click here:

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