#StoryTellingAsResistance: How does the English language reflect its speakers’ culture?

Dear readers,

Seniorities is a thing and probably post-graduation anxiety are on the horizon. I shouldn’t be so cynical while I’m approaching to my college diploma, but I wouldn’t be honest if I would simply say that I’m doing fine. Nothing is fine and I can definitely feel the inner shift elevating in my chest, bouncing up and down while nurturing the butterflies in my stomach. I’ll take a deep breath.

I am also in the midst of searching for a room in the city, waiting for my Visa extension, and still busy wrapping up my manuscript. I am also working on my modeling digitals and adapting to the imminent online work culture that will be part of my life for a long time. Beyond this, I’m trying to keep my thoughts calm, feed myself, and drink my water. You know, I’m trying and juggling, but for sure I am not bored. I have always something to do, even though they are not pleasant.

In the midst of this situation, I have gotten the chance to finish a final project for one of my Civic Engagement classes. All these courses were highly educative and much needed for my journalistic formation. I feel like I have more sets of keys with which I can open thousands of doors in the media industry. In Prof. Efthymiou’s class, called “Writing Against Power” I was able to engage with multiple conversations that pushed me to think further and deeper about my surroundings. If I must be honest 100% with y’all: some readings for this class were long and intense, but they changed me a lot. The last time I had such heavy and reflective discussions and readings were in high school back in Italy, in my philosophy class, with Schopenhauer, Freud, and Nietzsche. The course in fact started with a philosophical reading, with Brazilian educator and scholar Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968). After that assignment, the class was easier to grasp, but also more and more intense. And I loved it.

For my final project, I decided to interview my friend Jourden. He is a linguist based between Philadelphia and New York. I’ve met Jourden during my first year at Hofstra. I thought that including Jourden in this project was not only imperative because of his remarkable passion towards language, but also due to the fact that I wanted to make sure to symbolically conclude my last college assignment with one of the dearest friends I met in 2016, my very first year in Long Island. During this quarantine Jourden was also one of the few people who has been close to me, who took time to listen to me, and made me smile whenever I was down, worried, or too hard on myself. Thank you Jourden.

With Jourden I wanted to find answers and clarifications around an issue I’m very passionate about: social representation. I’ve raised the question: “How does the English language reflect its speakers’ culture – in the USA, UK, and other territories where this language is spoken and written by the majority?” I thought that if I believe in my purpose as a writer – being a bridge between communities – I needed to share and hear multiple perspectives. As a consumer of words, I perform some kind of resistance as a storyteller, whether I report a fact or write a creative story. Both are valid and powerful.

If you want to read the piece on my class blog, click here. If you want to listen to the episode, make sure to tune in here. Fashion On The Beat is still collecting contributions and its podcast is available on Anchor.fm and Spotify.

Stay healthy,

Beijos,

the curly flower

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