I was talking with my friend in a noisy food court inside the campus last week after my Spanish class. I was lucky to have another friend who is really fluent in Spanish and for that I did practice a little bit with him.
But anyways, this friend of mine became interested in teaching English as a foreign language and I was making suggestions about where he can go if ever he decides to teach in an Asian country. I suggested Japan and Korea where English teachers, i believe, are still at a very large demand and are countries which are so rich in culture. China can be an option too since its culture goes all the way back in the time of civilizations, an era even way before the conception of Japan and Korea… yet the salaries for English teachers in China are really low. Then suddenly I also talked about Hong Kong because we were dealing with salaries. It came into my mind to actually say “In Hong Kong, the competition is super!” in addition to the fact that you can earn a lot of money being an English teacher in Hong Kong much more than Japan and Korea.
This friend of mine told me “you mean it’s daunting!” and I thought that’s too poetic to use then he told me that in order to sound like an individual, you have to use big words. I felt frustrated and defeated with the idea that I ended up telling him that I’m not a big talker.
But that brought me to the idea that intellectuals have to be able to express a lot of things and we are able to do so because of experiences in life. For me, I don’t have too much adventures in the outside world since I seem to be a family guy that all I do is stay at home, watch TV, surf the net, eat, pray with my family, go to Sunday Masses and sleep. I don’t usually get a lot of linguistic input from a lot of people really thus I’m not a big talker and I don’t seem to use poetic words to be able to sound like a smart person like what my friend told me.
I personally believe that being an intellectual is also being open-minded and I’m glad that a lot of my friends whom I acknowledge as smart and intelligent – of course including my good friend – do understand all of the things that I can express, interpret, assert, argue, infer, whatever it may be to the best of my abilities. They know what I’m trying to infer, they know how to answer them to the best of my expectations and if things get a bit uncomfortable, they know when to calm things down instead of flaming things up.
Being an intellectual is showing your interest to what people have to say as the best attitude rather than emotionally reacting to anything unpleasant you hear. It also encourages the better culmination of knowledge and knowledge do bring a person beyond bliss and brings with him some friends too.
I myself need to really grow up to this idea in spite of believing it.
Well, in my last item of this journal, is being an intellectual someone who uses big words? I only made it an issue because I felt so bad with my friend lecturing me on it which is good because I do get to grow up a lot more. We can’t grow up on ourselves you know. We need people around us to be able to know really whether we do well in life, in how we think and in what we believe in.
I intend not to answer the question in the end since there are a lot of ways to be an intellectual and to be admired or acknowledged as one.
To my friend, if ever he is reading this, I do hope you won’t mind me writing this journal though it may be a really, really small thing, and I hope you’re not laughing too hard that some parts of this journal doesn’t make any sense. I do want to reflect on it because my personality relies heavily on this.