So, life is pretty good. Just three more days of class and 2 days of finals, then I’ll be free! Even though I have 6 classes this semester, only three of them (that I know of) have finals that I’ll have to show up for next week, so I’m pretty happy with the way the semester is ending :)
Also coming up is some fun stuff in fencing: we’re having a one touch epee tournament tonight, and then we’re having a movie night next week during finals! It’s going to be a lot of fun.
And Shelby and Jessica came to visit Friday JAmy already talked about it in her vlog, but it was really fun. We went to see Cabin in the Woods, which I was kind of worried would be really scary. But it was pretty funny. I won’t give anything away, but it was an interesting concept. Go watch it. Then on Saturday we roamed around the campus a lot. We found an open practice room in FAC, so Shelby and Jessica played songs for us. It was fun :) And to round the trip off, we had dinner at... can you guess it? That's right, Pizza Hut!
That’s kind of all that’s going on with my life right now. I hope all of your finals/end of classes are going well. So now it’s time for some questions! I think all of these came from Shelby, making her the undisputed favorite of the week! Love you Shelby! (I especially enjoyed her
second question, as you’ll probably be able to tell)
What would you do
for a Klondike bar?
Not much. Klondike bars are not among my favorite forms of ice cream. I mean, it is ice cream, so I do enjoy it; it’s just not very high on my preferences list.
Why is there so much miscommunication in our culture? Is it because of all of the complicated rules of communication that we have (meaning that we are not socially permitted to be as blunt/clear as we sometimes wish)? Or is there something wrong with our language? Or is it because we are bad listeners? Etc?
The way you phrased the question, it makes it seem like
our culture is the only one in which miscommunication features prominently, or at least the one where it is most prevalent. I don’t think that’s accurate. True, it is pretty prominent in our culture. But I’m pretty sure it also features in just about every other culture on the planet (and possibly on other planets, too). I think miscommunication is just a part of human nature. We are not perfect, and communication is part of what we do, so it makes sense that our forms of communication are far from perfect. Part of this is just the nature of communication itself. Communication is not simple, and it is not one way. There is nothing absolute about communication, partly because communication depends on the parties involved. Anything anyone says ever will be interpreted one way by the sender and another way by the receiver. Everyone has different experiences and backgrounds that they bring into a conversation that will influence how they interpret what they say or what is said to them. Oftentimes, people are able to interpret the communication in a way that is similar enough that the intentions are clear, but a lot of the time this leads to miscommunication. Take, for example:
Sally: give me that pen
Bob: (throws pen to Sally) here you go
Sally: (not expecting the pen to come flying at her face, responds angrily) I meant for you to hand it to me, not throw it!
See, Sally and Bob each had a different interpretation of the meaning of the phrase “give me that pen.” Sally meant for Bob to get up and bring it to her, while Bob thought it would be ok just to throw it. Both are reasonable interpretations of the request, but the different interpretations caused a miscommunication. And this is just the potential for a simple request to go awry. Think of all the complications that can set in when people try to communicate about more complex, abstract topics, like feelings and political views.
Of course, it does help when people try to consider other people’s perspectives when communicating. Choosing words with clear and specific meanings can reduce the likelihood of a miscommunication or misunderstanding, but there’s no way to eliminate it altogether. And there are plenty of features of communication that increase the likelihood of misunderstandings. One of these is the norms and unspoken rules in a given culture. In any culture, there are things that it is not considered appropriate to speak openly about, and there are things that people feel compelled to talk around. In general, people who understand this will be able to understand the resulting insinuations, but anyone unfamiliar with these customs will be very likely to misunderstand the conversation or even be left completely baffled. That’s part of the difficulty in learning foreign languages: you are not just learning vocabulary and grammar; you are learning idioms and common phrases that mean more than just what the vocabulary indicates. Euphemisms, metaphors, similes, and other forms of figurative language are all features of language that make it more interesting and diverse, but they also add to the complexity and, thus, the likelihood for miscommunication.
There are plenty of other reasons why miscommunication is so common: if language is complicated, the body language that accompanies it is a million times more complex and difficult to interpret. And sometimes people intentionally set out to interfere with clear communication. Also, back to the human imperfection I was discussing earlier, there are people who are better at communicating than others, either because they are able to get points across clearly or because they are good at listening and paying attention to what
people say. But even the best of communicators will sometimes give vague directions or zone out for a second and completely miss the point of a conversation. Words are our primary means of communication, and they only have meaning because we give them meaning, which complicates things even more. Words may have set denotations, for example, but different connotations (some people think nerd is an insult, others consider it a compliment) and associations (most of the readers of this blog would know what I meant if I began to discuss
lasagna or beef jerky, while the rest would be confused about why I was having such a serious discussion about food) for different people. And sometimes people omit information that’s important to understanding what they mean, either because they think it’s implied, or because they simply forget. Overall, communication depends on people, and people are flawed, so communication is too.
Sorry my answer was so long, but I remember talking about this in my Communications class last year, and I thought it was a really interesting topic J:)
What is your favorite joke?
That’s like asking what my favorite song is. I have heard
thousands of jokes in my life, and just because you asked this question, I
can’t think of a single one of them right now…
This is one of those cop out questions, isn’t it? Ok, well to (sort, of) fix that, I have a challenge! Everyone tell me your best jokes in the comments, and I’ll pick my favorite next week! That sound ok?
What is the best amusement park in the world?
Well, I haven’t been to that many amusement parks. Of the two I’ve been to, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom was the best. Of all the rest, I’d say probably Harry Potter World. Hopefully I’ll get to find out for sure some time :)
What makes someone your best friend? (and/or what makes someone a good
I feel like these are pretty individual. Everyone will cite different qualities that they see in best/good friends. In general, I’d say a good friend is someone who understands you: your background, your strengths, your weaknesses, your annoying characteristics. He/she knows you and still wants to hang out with you, even in public :P Good friends are also willing to help
you out of tough situations, even when it’s inconvenient for them. And best friends have all these qualities, just more so, I guess.
I feel like that wasn’t the best answer. Feel free to offer your own definitions if you want :)
What books are you
dying to read right now?
Well, I definitely want to read a couple of books John Green recommended: Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I also want to read more books by John Green, since I’ve so far only read his first (Looking for Alaska) and most recent (The Fault in Our Stars). I can’t think of any non-vlogbrothers-related books on my list right now. Is that a problem? :P
If you could banish someone to some far off place where you’re never going to go, would you send someone? Who would you send? And where?
No… why would I want to banish someone? That would be mean.
And one question from Amy! If you had to kill someone or be killed or the world would end, would you do it?
Well, if God decides it’s time for the world to end, who
am I to go against Him?
So that’s all for today! Congrats to my favoritest Shelby, and please leave Questions for next week! Also jokes, so I can actually pick a favorite…