John “JP” Wojciechowski, 25 year-old English teacher and linguaphile, the importance of learning a language and then using that language to cultivate new relationships is the most paramount matter in life.
“I felt like I was learning so much about the world,” he says. “I kind of decided that everyone should learn a second language. At that time and that age, I just had a realization that this skill is a way to communicate with other people in the world and gain such a different perspective. That was what really got me, and for the last 12 years I have pursued that goal.”
As humans, we are social by nature. Be it with family, friends, or fellow fanatics, we are wont to gather in mutual celebration or commiseration, and this may take many forms. Perhaps we gather to watch opposing sports teams battle over a piece of pigskin, or maybe we assemble with all the other Avengers to see the newest Marvel movie, or even just convene to cook food in each other’s company.
Seated opposite Luke Straka, 28 year-old teacher and philosopher, in a rustic cafe on a Sunday afternoon, one can learn a lot about how to view the world.
“I think that language is the key to many of
the philosophical and psychological conundrums that we face as humans
in this world,” says Luke. “If I can do anything, I want to
learn how to address those issues and use them to bring people
together across boundaries.”
A big part of learning to transcend those
boundaries is being comfortable with being a stranger in a strange
land, a comfort Luke has been cultivating all his life.
For Brenden Bish, 28 year-old international poet and professional student, learning is a way to tune into eternity.
“You never stop learning,” says Brenden. “You can learn so many different things under the sun, so you can learn something and be humbled by each new thing. And each lesson is just one tiny piece of the whole expanse of human knowledge, so I really strive to learn something new in every moment.”