Thursday, March 20, 2008

Introduction and Spring Break in Japan

Hello all,
My name is Nathan Dietmeier, sometimes I go by Nate. I am currently an English major at La Verne and am now happy to now be participating in the Prism. I am not in the class so you might not see me much. Hopefully some time in the near future I may be able to attend a few sessions. It is good to be in a steady circle of writers now, I have already read some of the blogs and have enjoyed hearing my peer's voices. I look forward to reading and writing more. Here is a post to start.

The memories came flowing in with the first bite of Nikomon. With the flow of taste and recollection came the realization that once again I was changed. It was so sudden I did not even realize it until the sense of taste woke me up. I was ten minutes off the plane, in Japan again for the first time in six months since studying abroad and I was my Japanese self once again.

A year and a half ago I went to Japan to live and study for a year. For the first months it was euphoria, every sense had a new twist to it. I was smelling different smells, hearing new sounds, seeing new sites, it was all so overwhelming. Soon I entered a new routine and the high wore off. The significance of what happened to me did not kick in until my return home.

Upon my return home I realized what had happened, in Japan I became a new me. Thinking back on it I did not have much of a choice; new people, new environment, a new language that came with an entirely different way of understanding. I did not plan the drastic change but there was no way of me acting as my California self, to many factors would not permit it. And even if I did chose to fight the new environment, try to retain my old self, like some of my fellow study abroad students, I would have been changing the nature of myself to fight that fight. There was no possible way I could have remained the same person in Japan that I was in California.

Now one would think my new self I created in Japan was going to be a permanent change, at least some qualities of the change, but that is not true. For me when returning to California the transformation was swift and unexpected. I am not even sure if I would label what happened a transformation so much a departing, a departing of my Japanese self and a reuniting with my old California self. I really took no qualities of my Japanese self home. I took an enhanced perspective but that perspective did not have much to do with what my Japanese self was, it was more of an affect. And in the grand scheme of it all even that enhanced perspective is only a ripple in the pool of who I am in California.

Right now I am spending spring break in Japan. Like I said in my intro the transformation back to my old Japanese self was quick. It was so quick it happened without me even noticing.I did not realize I was thinking differently as soon as the first bit of Japanese left my lips to communicate with the store clerk to buy my food. It took taste to spur the realization. It was much different than my first trip to Japan. On my first trip it took time to subconsciously create my new self. But upon my return a ghost was already waiting and the fit was snug and comfy. It amazes me, as human beings, how much we are a part of or environment and how much are environment really affects who we become. There is no escaping the heavy influence of ones environment and to try is like trying to escape from yourself.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.