For the Love of Language

 

logo_small

My recent research in college education has led me, as it has many times, to my one of my biggest passions: Language. Throughout my K-12 years I bounced around with what I wanted to study due to the fact that I have many interests. East Asian studies, art, veterinary medicine, animal behaviorism, graphic design, and English have made up the main bunch.

Even so, I always seem to make a loop and end up at the same conclusion. I love language; particularly English.

Language is what sets us apart. It is a fundamental aspect of our lives. We speak, write, and read language. It is what allows us to express ourselves in the most profound ways. It is interesting how many people might say, “Well, yeah,” as if that’s just a fact of life and there is nothing fascinating or extraordinary about language. Yet when you give it thought, imagine what language means to us.

One facet of language presents to us an escape from our lives by letting us delving into created worlds. That is reading.

My relationship with reading began well enough. I was fascinated by stories, but as a child it was visually appealing. Who didn’t love those picture storybooks?

Late elementary into middle school introduced an entirely new type of reading. No more pictures? I have to use my imagination? As a kid that grew up on Disney movies and vibrant picture storybooks, this was not how I wanted it to go. So, I decided that reading and I didn’t suit each other. Silly me.

It wasn’t until late middle school when I was roaming idly around the library that the spine of a book caught my eye. It depicted a horse, and I’ve always loved horses. As I looked at it, I read the title, “Wild Magic”. Horses, wild, and magic? What was this enticing sorcery? I checked out the book that day and was hooked.

Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic kindled my love for reading. This was the kind of reading that provided that wonderful escape from reality; the type that grips your mind and heart.

Mark Edmundson (The Ideal English Major) described it so well:

“There are people who read to anesthetize themselves—they read to induce a vivid, continuous, and risk-free daydream. They read for the same reason that people grab a glass of chardonnay—to put a light buzz on. The English major reads because, as rich as the one life he has may be, one life is not enough. He reads not to see the world through the eyes of other people but effectively to become other people.”

“Real reading is reincarnation. There is no other way to put it. It is being born again into a higher form of consciousness than we ourselves possess.”

It was through these kinds of experiences that I developed a love for language and so a love for writing. After all, the three facets of language are all interlinked.

It’s why I am writing to all of you right now, and why I plan to pursue a degree in English.

I completely geek out over language!

It’s a dream of mine to have a career where I can indulge in my passion for language (reading, writing, speaking), and to reach others through my work. I’d like to publish at least one book if not more, and I will forever to encourage others to love language.

Here are some of my favorite books/series that I recommend:

The Sevenwaters TrilogyJuliet Marillier

Heart’s BloodJuliet Marillier

The Maze Runner trilogyJames Dashner

The Immortals quartetTamora Pierce

Dragonriders of PernAnne McCaffrey

 

Britney

14618

Advertisements

Prejudice in Geekdom

Image

“I’ve been a fan before anyone even knew what/who  _____ was. I’ve been listening to, playing it, doing it longer than you have. So you’re not a true fan because you only starting liking it after it got popular!”

Has anyone else heard or read this before? Yeah, thought so.

We are so quick to judge other people, to categorize them, to stomp on their delicate budding intrigue before it has a chance to bloom. Why? Because we don’t think they deserve to be interested.

Too many times I hear that if you haven’t been fan since the beginning, then you’re not really a fan. If you haven’t been reading the books, playing the games, listening to the music since the origin of time then you’re not qualified to be a true fan of said subject. I’m calling it.. Bullshit! Loads of it, in fact.

“Oh, you’re a Mario fan because you occasionally play Mario on the Wii? Pfft, then you’re not a real fan. I’ve been playing Mario since the original on NES. “ It’s as if that simple fact makes them more of a fan than the person who occasionally plays newer Mario’s? No, it doesn’t! Just because that person does not know as much or hasn’t played as many games, does not mean that they don’t enjoy Mario just as much as the old school gamers do!

It’s that thought process that causes long time fans to bully the newer or more casual fans, and sometimes it bullies them right out of being fans. Shame on them! Seriously. They want to isolate themselves with the others they deem worthy when all they’re truly doing is shutting people off from enjoying, liking, even loving the subjects they love. And why wouldn’t they want others to love the things that they love? That means having more people to talk to it about, more people to relate to, more people to fuel purchasing around that subject.

Mull it over with me.. The more popular a subject is, the more profitable, and the more you see it. You see more of that product, more of its merchandise, and more things similar to it.

I.E.: Star Wars – Do you really think that if Star Wars hadn’t gotten the ever evolving and constantly growing fandom that it’s had and has that they would still be producing Star Wars movies? NO. They wouldn’t.  It’s thanks to old and new fans that you will continue to see Star Wars movies, t-shirts, video games, ect.

What is my advice to those that continue to look down on the new or casual fans? Quit it. Not only are you bullying people, but you’re doing a disservice to yourself and an injustice to your passions. You should be relating to these new and casual fans; encouraging them even. If not for their involvement in your interests, you may see less and less of the things you love.

Instead of glaring at the girl who wears the Pikachu shirt simply for the fact that she thinks it’s cute, you should compliment her on having an awesome shirt. Who cares if she didn’t/doesn’t really play Pokemon? Who cares as to what level of extremity her interest in Pokemon is? She is a fan. You are a fan. It’s time to accept that simply as it is.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to the subjects that are considered geeky like video games and books. Simply put: Someone isn’t more deserving of being a fan than someone else!

Just because I didn’t read the Harry Potter books as they were being released from the beginning doesn’t mean that I don’t love them as much as the people that did. It took me years to finally pick up the series. Why can’t a fan be a new fan?

Just because I don’t play video games every day doesn’t mean that I’m not a gamer girl. I love video games. Always have, always will. Why can’t a fan be a casual fan?

Just because I can’t explain to you the founding of the FC Barcelona team and I don’t watch each and every game doesn’t mean that I’m not a FCB fan! Why can’t a fan be both casual and new?

I think it’s due time that we as geeks stop categorizing fandom and just be a fan who respects other fans. Sure, I might be 100% more obsessed with Final Fantasy than the young guy who’s only played the newest game, but we are both fans. And hey, I’m down with that!

 

PS: Part 2 coming soon!

 

~ Britney

14618