Filed under: Society + Media
my name is brenna mae tompson daldorph. like justin, i am a french and journalism major. i consider lawrence my hometown, although i cannot really and truly call myself a kansan. like many lawrencians, i live in a lawrence bubble. after growing up here, i know this community extremely well. However, when i venture outside of it, i often feel more like a stranger (granted, an interested, open stranger) than when i am in another country. a large part of that is also because my family leaves this area to travel internationally a lot. my dad is from england and my summers were spent there. i know the english countryside better than i know towns around here.
let’s see… i love reading and running, writing letters and making cozy nests of pillows, tea and light shining on water. i have loved all of those things most of my life.
however, other parts of me have formed over the past year. thus, i think that in order to introduce myself, i must write about the life experiences i have gleaned since 2008.
at exactly this time a year ago, i was frantically packing, trying to prepare for the semester i would spend in france. i arrived in the town of angers in february, with no idea of what i would find.
i found myself living with a short, darling woman named annick. on the first day, she showed me several large boxes of kiwi, fruit that she grew herself. throughout my semester living at the little house at 3 chemin de la brosse, i learned a whole new way of sustainable living. annick cooked meals of fresh vegetables from her garden. she taught me to turn off lights, shut doors to conserve heat and to keep from wasting water. my bicycle, marianne, was my only form of transport. in the six months that i was in france, i could count on my fingers the number of times that i was in a car.
annick was not alone in her way of living. public transportation in france was great and everyone was much more environmentally concious. studying abroad is not only important to learn a language– even in another western country, the modes of living can be entirely different and in this case, better.
i returned to lawrence and ku after that incredible semester of language learning and adventures and a summer where i traveled all across europe with two of my best friends. i came home absolutely resolved to remain conscious and maintain the mode of living i had adopted (and to not forget my french).
last semester was also very formative for me. i enrolled in a course called american societies. in seminar style discussions, we talked about a multiplicity of currents in our society. We read the work of journalists who are not afraid to tackle these issues. i gleaned an awareness of what is happening in our society and an awareness for how important a journalist can be in addressing these issues. last fall, i was also taking advanced reporting and i was able to write about these issues in my stories– my favorites were one about low income housing in lawrence, another about light pollution where i wrote about the way a scientific topic affected everyone. i realized that i had found journalistic purpose.
i am still defining myself and my activities for this semester. i am part of the student board at the spencer art museum and produce a weekly radio show and podcast called state of the arts. (i adore this american life and the bbc and love working with people’s actual voices). my classes are across the board– from medieval french literature to a class on autobiographies. i am doing multimedia reporting and going on an alternative break to arizona this march. i have an on campus job. i like dancing. and i am very excited for this class.
i also tend to write too much.
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