I Wrote This While Eating A Scone

Hey guys! My name is Thomas! I’m a Linguistics (Speech and Language Sciences) major, but I’m planning to acquire a second major in Religion (Christian Tradition) within this academic year.

As for my personal background, I was born in the Philippines (specifically Manila). However, I moved to the Bay Area (Dublin) for a brief time before spending most of my life in New England (specifically, Connecticut). During high school, I returned to the same place in the Bay Area and now I find myself here in San Diego–you can say I like change, even welcome it!

A major interest of mine is researching the Linguistics of Religion. Ever since I was young, I was always enamored by the way divinity and language interacted with each other to create a nexus of phenomena and preservations of human behavior. If this is something that intrigues you, I am always more than happy to talk about it!

My favorite book that I’ve read so far is John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Although I would say I’ve had a ‘favorite’ for every HUM course I’ve taken, I would say (with some trepidation) that this one is indeed my favorite over all! Aside from masterfully wedding together concepts which are of great fascination to me (linguistics and religion), something which I consider are the contextual factors around which this piece of work was made in. Paradise Lost was made at a time when Europeans were colonizing foreign lands, and when read with this in mind, an anti-imperialist narrative can be uncovered. However, what interested me most was Milton’s own condition when writing this work. Milton at this time was going blind, and I believe his visual impairment adds an additional layer of complexity and tragedy to his work. Seeing as how Paradise Lost frequents in illustrating flower fields and other Edenic imagery, I can’t help but wonder if Milton’s tendency to over-emphasize natural beauty is a representation of his desperation in seeing it again.

The media I chose to select is Maria Callas’ performance of Habanera from the opera Carmen. I generally choose this song to recommend, namely because many people know the melody of this song but don’t know its name. Additionally, Maria Callas (in my opinion) is one of the best operatic vocalists known to us. She was even bestowed the name ‘La Divina’ (‘The Goddess’) because many described her voice as being sublime and otherworldly, even godly.