About Me, My Interests and Academic Background
I once held the mistaken belief that I was an extrovert.
I really thought that I wanted to be out there, mingling, speaking to people, and getting into the thick of things. It was for this reason that I first aspired to become a journalist. I pictured myself running around with a pen and my notebook, seeing the events that would shape the world with my own eyes.
But in college, I realized that my temperament wasn't built for interacting with people. I took up Communications, but eventually noticed that the people around me were very different. We practically had nothing in common. I didn't enjoy talking to people at all! The further I got into the course, the more I realized that what I enjoyed best were the times I spent solitary in the library.
Reading, researching, and writing - these were the things that actually made me happy. It dawned on me that I wasn't a "Buffy." I was a "Giles" - the stuffy librarian who knew everything because he did the research constantly. Now that, I figured, was what suited me.
And so I switched to Asian Studies. The course largely focuses on research writing and there was a lot of reading involved. Sometimes, it even involved working with resource text in foreign languages. Since I am fluent in Mandarin, it became very easy for me to take on research work using Chinese texts.
It's not an easy course to get into, this Asian Studies. In truth, it involved a bit of everything. You don't just go into it and expect to study nothing but history. It requires studying every aspect of Asia (and that's a lot of ground to cover, literally and figuratively). You have to be knowledgeable on literature, history, geography, political science, economics, and absolutely everything that might come up in your study of this massive continent.
But I'd like to focus a bit on the parts of the course that really stood out to me. I may be well versed in almost all aspects mentioned above, but of course there are some that I prefer over the others. I like history. I like it a little too much, to be honest. One reason why I love history so much is because it helps shape the future of a country.
That sounds dramatic, but it's true. You sometimes think history is just the study of things past, but when you forget the past, you're dooming your future. Forgetting mistakes committed by those who came before us means we are in danger of committing them again. More importantly, history helps give the younger generation a sense of pride. It's an anchor. It's not a dead subject like a lot of people think. It's alive, and it's realistic. It's the story of people and to forget is to fail to learn from them.
Another aspect I truly enjoy is literature. The cultural aspect of studying Asia is fascinating, because you do get so much to work with! All of those different countries, the different cultures - well it's really fun. You see so much diversity! I really think you get a lot of insight from reading stories and poems from these different countries and cultures.
But my interest in Asia doesn't mean I neglect Western literature and history. Often times, I find that these are intertwined, especially where colonialism and post-colonialism are concerned. I love Shakespeare and Jane Austen, but I do read a lot of contemporary writers, too, like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I maintain a personal blog where I do nothing but review books, music, and movies, so definitely I am a person who enjoys writing constantly.
The bottom line, I suppose, is that if I could spend the rest of my days reading, writing, and researching in peace, then I'm a happy woman.