Telling stories to travel

I originally posted this article on LinkedIn.

While I was completing my undergraduate studies, I had a professor in Political Science that taught with stories. Yes, he would have slides and other visual media, but he would contextualize it by telling applicable stories. The approach fascinated me, not just because I could remember the things he taught during tests and exams, but also because it gave a “realness” to what I was studying. Over the last few years I have come to the realization that the tool of storytelling is also important within the field of international education. We need to use it during our pre-departure orientations; and we kind of sneak it in there. (*learningfrompastmistakes) I want to highlight two reasons why storytelling is important in the field of international education: firstly, it helps students to think about their upcoming experience (to imagine possibilities) and secondly, it induces certain emotions within students which helps to bring certain points across.

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Relationships, The Sandman and being Trans

Dangerous? Perhaps.

But evil? She acts according to her nature.

Is that evil?

Dream responding to Barbie, after she says the Cuckoo is evil.

After meeting my partner, a new world opened for me. She introduced me to many new novels, writers and off-planet worlds; hopefully, I did the same for her. Not to be too philosophical, but a love fusion of horizons took place between us. [A kind of a negotiation process between two people to come to some understanding (which is also self-reflective), in our case, to see if we fit with another.] In this whole process (still continuing) one specific writer stood out, namely Neil Gaiman. I knew of him and his work, and more specifically about The Sandman. However, I cannot really say that I had engaged with his work. With my love for Connie, my introduction to the world of the Sandman started and I was introduced to the Endless and the character of Dream. To say merely that a world opened up to me would be an understatement. Death, Dream, Destiny, Destruction (where ever he is), Delirium, Desire and Despair became part of my (our) life.

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I am a poem, a film, a song …

Rows of books

I had this philosophy professor who taught philosophy of religion. I always had this impression that he preferred reading novels and poems to reading philosophy and teaching philosophy. I still remember how he spoke about the power of metaphors and how it breaks open new meaning. Also, how literature can in a few words describe what would take a philosopher a whole book.

This idea of the power of literature has always been with me; when a person transitions (I still am), you talk to so many people about your personal narrative (-s). To some extend when one transitions, one goes on a hermeneutical journey. You make sense of experiences that have been, of colors, of tastes, of textures, of intimate moments. In many cases, you know how it feels, but you can’t necessarily describe it, you can’t recount it. Art, music and literature are however powerful mediums whereby one can bridge this chasm.

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