Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's a Flickering World

The world is small indeed and Flickr can make it seem a small village. Early this month, someone in Austria emailed me with a republishing permission request for this picture:


The picture has recently been publised in a students' magazine called JAWS (journalists, artists, writers, students). You can see a taste of it here. Quite inspiring for any ESL or EFL writing class.

Mina, the magazine editor, was kind enough to send me a pdf with the article my picture illustrates. There I found a teacher's voice who could be someone working next to me.

Susanne Kopf writes:

"Another means of transportation, which helped me up my reading was the train. Having family and sometimes even visiting friends in a different city is a great motivation to go there. One train ride usually took about 3,5 hours, the equivalent of a third of a book."(1)

That's about the length of my train journey to visit my family. That's how I got most of my reading done while commuting daily to study in Buenos Aires a long time ago.

It goes on...

"Sometimes the line between private and school reading was blurred by me realizing that a book I had ordered just for fun actually fit a course I was taking. This should have thrilled me, as it meant that what I enjoyed doing just for myself was also valuable academically. " (1)

Blurring the lines. That's it. Borges in his prologue to Borges Profesor argued that 'obligatory reading' was a nonsense phrase. How could you obligatorily enjoy reading? (Quote source in Spanish)

Lots of coincidences with Mina as a node in the connection. She had no idea the picture in Flickr had been taken by an English language teacher. Mina works for a magazine which belongs to the English and American Studies Department of the Karl Franzens-Universität at an Austrian university.

What Mina doesn't know yet is what the book in the picture is about:

If there were any more coincidences that linked us, I would not be surprised. Perhaps this post reaches Susanne? I sense this story may have a sequel. For now, I just enjoy to see what these connections through our published content can lead to. As I wrote in my Flickr profile, take me wherever you are.

My Semester of Reading by Susanne Kopf. JAWS Magazine, KF University Graz. Issue 21, pages 20-21. April 2011.

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