Just starting…

February 16th, 2010 by | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

I’m just an American student at a random art school who is about to obtain a BA in photography and to take a journey of becoming an anthropologist by planning to attend UCL this fall for MA in Material and Visual Culture.  For the past five years, I’ve been traveling around the world where I’ve been using my camera as a tool to research the cultural differences.  I do not just photograph strangers.  I converse with them to learn about their lifestyle and to understand how their life differs from my own culture.  Over the years, I’ve discovered my new found passion – anthropology.  Moreover, I’ve been studying to become more aware of what makes my American culture unique.  There are somethings that I like about being an American, and there are somethings of which I do dislike.  Of all the cultures that I’ve studied, including the Peruvian culture and the Australian culture, the European culture sets a very special place in my heart.  My mentality totally fits with the Europeans.  In fact, on one of my trips to France, I met an Irish woman.  We talked about various things, and we’ve met each other on a few occasions for a coffee throughout my two months journey in Provence.  She said to me, “You seem so much more European.  I don’t see you as an American.”  I knew that I was European in my heart, but I couldn’t understand why until I read a book that had a very good quote that exactly explains my sentiments about why I love the European culture.

“[Europeans] believe that collectively creating the society of their dreams is more important than allowing individuals to create the personal empire of their dreams.” – Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves.

This quote by Rick Steves hits the spot!  When I read the news about corporate greed, health insurance for profit, polluting SUVs, CEOs owning five mansions, I just want to throw up.  So, I’ve set my foot to gain a better understanding of why just about all of the European countries have universal health care, cars are smaller than the American cars, Europeans live in smaller homes and all of Europeans’ values.  One critical thing I do have to mention is that I understand that I am looking from a stereotypical view.  I understand that not every single one of the Americans are materialistic and not every single one of the Europeans believe in universal health care.  However, there is certainly a “general overview” of the culture.

My reason to start this blog is to record all of my thoughts from readings, research, and films so that I can refer back to something when I engage in discussions with other students and professors at grad school and when I work on my thesis.  I also love engaging in discussions, especially debates and so perhaps, anyone who visit the blog will perhaps voice their opinions.

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2 Comments

Linn T

February 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

Rachel….I love your new blog. I can see how your love of photography led you to cultural anthro. My Bachelor’s degre is in Anthropology…….I leaned toward American archaeology. I have fond memories of the two digs I worked on after college. Good luck …..I’ll be reading! Linn

Rachel

February 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Linn,

Good to hear from you! That’s so cool that you majored in Anthropology! Thank you for your comment.

Rachel

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