Little Irish shangrila



Dear Readers,

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.

Thank you.

Tenzin Jamyang



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2 Responses to Little Irish shangrila

  1. Cheryl Smith says:

    Hi Tenzin,

    I’m posting my final comment on your cover letter, as opposed to your final project, in part to honor your truly impress ability to “go meta.” You are very good at something many students–and most people in general–are not so very good at: you have a sharp and generous critical capacity. This cover letter, for instance, is such an insightful take on your final essay and its evolution. You see the gaps–potential problems–in the lack of structure or frame of the audio project, and you comment on them in interesting ways. Similarly, you were one of the best, if not the best, peer reviewers in class. This kind of work is not something that’s easy to do, and as I said, many people fail to do it well. It suggests possible career paths: food critic (or other kind of critic), for instance, or teacher of some sort, or…

    I do think the lack of frame for the interviews interferes with the impact and meaning and “tale away” of the audio essay. I do feel like I get more out of it because of the essay draft you wrote, and the conversation I had with you about your draft and your plans for revision when we met in conference. But I also feel like both the essay draft and audio essay are incomplete–they haven’t quite arrived yet.

    That said, I do love what you chose to write about. This topic is rich, rich, rich. And your work in both draft and revision is highly suggestive of just how rich–and promising–the material is.

    Wishing you a wonderful summer!

  2. Thank you Professor, I really appreciate your good words and I will take them as a fuel to work harder. As you mentioned, this project is definitely something I would like to hone in more, since at this present state it will be too abstract for a lot of listeners.
    It was a great class, and hopefully we will cross paths in the future. Thank you once again.

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