Tommy in Columbus
I currently live in the capital city of Ohio, Columbus, which is located in the heart of the Midwest in the United States. I graduated with honors from St. Louis University in May of 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. My college education was both vast and expeditious. I had the opportunity to spend four months studying in Madrid consequently allowing me to travel to various parts of the world.
Many people who have otherwise spent much of their lives traveling might find this span of time to be inconsequential and trite. I, however, consider my semester abroad to be one most significant times in my life in terms of personal development and irreplaceable knowledge.
As for extracurricular interests, I spent four years playing Rugby and loved every second of it. I am proud to say that I was given the honor by my teammates and coaches to represent our club as team captain my senior year; my memories as a college student will not soon be separated from the memories made on the rugby pitch.
I am also hugely interested it music, cinema, art and literature; all four represent paramount avenues for self-expression and individualism. A quick list of favorite my artists (in no particular order) would include: James Joyce, Bob Dylan, Paul Newman, Pablo Picasso, Bryce Courtney, The White Stripes, Wes Anderson, Andy Warhol, Pat Conroy, M. Ward and Walt Whitman (so on and so forth…). I also very much enjoy playing the guitar (mostly acoustic).
I am originally from a quaint town called Bay Village which is a small suburb located about 15 miles west of the Northern Ohio city of Cleveland. Bay Village is located right on the shores of Lake Erie and used to be a vacation resort in the early 20th century. It is now a picturesque example of what most would consider ‘Middle America’. During the summer time there is always a baseball game in progress, hot dogs and hamburgers for sale, and ‘Red, White and Blue’ flags positioned on every street light.
With the onslaught of fall, we are witness to the annual spectacle of our maple trees flexing their muscles and showing their brilliant, vibrant fall leaves. These trees and fallen leaves line our streets and sidewalks with a reminder that the Thanksgiving and football seasons are here and winter and Christmas are on their way.
When winter finally comes around we make snowmen and have snow-days as a result of the pesky yet beautiful ‘lake effect snow’ that falls every year. And finally we have a beautiful, green spring season that melts away our snow and constantly smells of rain showers and new life. It is a life that in a word might be described by some as ‘enviable’. It does however, in my opinion, lack in terms of educational and social diversity. This should not suggest that its public and private schools are not amongst best in the area if not the state, but in the same breath it should be noted that there lies virtually one perspective and way of thought: the white, Christian, upper-middle class male.
To me the town is in a sense ‘a bubble’ in terms of reality and society and within its core there seems to be a sense of social ignorance and apathy to the brutal world that lies outside of its boarders. That being said, Bay Village seems to be an ideal place to raise children and have a family as its innocence is still relatively preserved.
Every afternoon I go home for lunch and take a quick nap (a habit I picked up from my travels in Spain) and when I return around 1:00PM I always turn on WHYS (via www.bbc.co.uk). It allows me to interact, directly or indirectly, with other human beings whose opinions and perspectives would have been otherwise unknown to me.
Listening to BBC radio throughout the day allows me to approach the day’s current events like a historic novel: Every day the characters and scenarios develop; everyday a new page is written and recorded, and everyday there are critics (WHYS) who share their views on the day’s stories. It is a very intriguing process for me and one that I love being a part of (and wish I could be more a part of).
The rest of my day consists of sending out bills and completing financial reports of expenditures and dealing with individuals who have questions about either of the two aforementioned tasks (and yes, it is as exciting as it sounds). Maybe this is why I enjoy listening to the program so much; it’s what I have to look forward to throughout the day.
Finally, the program has made me more immersed and opinionated in and about today’s most important issues: I believe that anyone is capable of knowing the facts, but becoming educated about the circumstances surrounding the facts in order to formulate a developed and respected opinion is something few people choose to do. Thank you for this opportunity.
I like listening to whatever stories people like talking about. I am most interested in our current Iraqi conflict and our subsequent relationship with the Middle East. I also am very interested in hearing about any news coming out of Africa because their news is something virtually unexposed to me prior to listening to this program.