It is so inspiring and refreshing to see a class full of students not afraid of sharing their feelings, and unapologetic about the idiosyncrasies that make them themselves. Perhaps, one of the reasons why I was quiet pretty much throughout the length of this course was that I am not used to such a code of pedagogy. After staying so many years away from home, and predominantly living in communities outside of my own, I still am apprehensive about being too open about my feelings. However, through this class, I have realized how liberating it could be to shed a little bit of that shyness and just attend to the details that I possess in my identity.
The strongest critique against my writing has always been the lack of immediacy, and the “exorbitance” of big and unnecessary words. I have learned that sometimes simple words can have the biggest impact, and you should never be afraid of expressing yourself. I think a part of self-expression is exploring what kind of tone and genre you can write in. I used to be of the opinion that humor is a prerogative of a very elite few, but I have discovered that I can be funny too, through my writing.
Well, perhaps counter-intuitively, I have chosen for my final project an undertaking where the focus is, on the surface, outside of me. However, I think, at the same time the things that I have learned through this task have made some impact on me. This audio essay of mine is a collage without any coherent narrative supporting it; leaving it totally up to the readers to conceive of the “message.” The songs in the essay are supposed to represent and juxtapose the expectations that we have of certain things and their actual status. I have consciously abstained myself from giving it a particular narrator because I am still on my path to discovery and what exactly that place, of which the audio is about, is to me? I feel like every time I go there, I discover new things about the place. But more than the place itself, it is the people who choose to come here on weekends, especially Tibetans. I see both the consolidation and shattering of my stereotypes and perhaps discover the range within which one can be “Tibetan.”
I hope my readers won’t feel disoriented by the lack of any coherent order to the audio essay and even if you did, you can always ask me, or talk over a cup of coffee. And if the latter ever happens at a Starbucks, please call me Jason.