Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cultural Literacy... A Pass-or-Fail Deal For Sure.

Well, this is the third week in this class, and I'm still chugging away. *Grimly* Tragically, I don't have any films or videos this week, but I will keep you posted, because I will be conducting some sort of interview soon.

As for what knowledge has helped me improve cultural literacy, I would have to say it's general curiosity. Many people will say it's about being open, but it isn't enough to say you are up for the opportunity. One needs to actually pursue the option of learning and utilizing the information in the most effective manner necessarily.

I can remember being accepted in the Spring of 2009, and attending Clemson. My housing was through the Clemson Exchange Community, and I roomed with two Americans, one from South Carolina and from Maryland, and another from Montreal, Canada.

I can think back and remember going to basketball games with John, Brian, and Dan... I can remember having cookouts in our apartment, watching games, playing video games, and partying. Even more so, I gained inside knowledge of cultural opinions and how the world outside of our "American bubble" views a major nation.

Through my own initiative,I'd like to think I've benefited greatly. My girlfriend and I met through one of my trips off-campus to the store through my roommate; we are actually going to celebrate our first one-year anniversary in March, thank you.

As for filling in the gaps in other locations, the answer is simple. When you come to a cliff and you want to access the other side, what will you do to get to the other side? What means are you willing to use in order to achieve success and understanding? Is it pointless and worthless? Should the high road be taken, or settle for looking for a lower pass? In the sense of not sounding cliche or stealing quotes from Robert Frost, life is but one journey in which we often forget the destination isn't what is important.

And knowing that I can't just "reset" my life at any point is enough motivation to enjoy and learn as much as I can. To those of you out there who are in other countries, I encourage you to say yes (reasonably, of course,) for me. Say yes to every choice you're given. Ask questions, go down different roads and into random buildings, if it's nothing more than to look at a painting through a window you've seen while in passing, or trying new food that looks totally disgusting.

As for ethnos, nomos, mythos, archon, and techne, I do believe it's interesting to see such terms. I was impressed to see a rating scale for different dimensions, and it's weird to see that other countries view the equality between sexes differently than us. And even more challenging is to ask, who is right?

But overall, I think that that is what it boils down to. It's not about who is right or wrong. It's about experiencing certain things, leaving your comfort zone, and trying for different things (of course, this isn't at the sacrifice of your morals).

Thankfully, the different dimensions and the concept of "stolons" is something I am thinking I will apply heavily to my interviews. This will give me an equal opportunity to learn about them as much as they've learned about us.

Stay tuned next week you all.