Fresh Eyes│Kate Bowes

Marcel Proust, a famous French writer, once wrote that "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes."


I think about that line a lot as a teacher of International Communication. What is it that we can discover by training ourselves to look at our lives with a different kind of attention? Many amazing details of our daily lives are lost in routine. For instance, things we do everyday don't seem to be very exciting or noteworthy. We wake up, we eat, we go to school, we go to club, come home, eat, do homework, bath, sleep. But you can and should make time to think about your life and to try to see it with new eyes.


I mean: what do you do everyday? What do you eat for breakfast? How do you get to school? Who do you meet--on the bus, the train, at school? What is your neighborhood like? Do you live in the hometown of one of your parents? Have you family (relatives) who live near you? What kind of place do you live in?  Do you live close to nature or in a city? What do you like about where you live? Do you know how to cook? To paint or draw? To arrange flowers, play a musical instrument, or sing, or dance? How did you learn these things? Look at the people around you. What do they look like? What do they like? What is interesting and lovable about them, in your opinion? Look around you and really try to see . . . and be grateful for what is good.


Our late, great Sr. Kazuko Watanabe famously said: "Bloom where you are planted." To me that means being able to feel at peace with where I am; to stand tall and to be bright, to absorb the sunshine, yes, and also feel the rain: to be alive to all that is around me. I try, therefore, to pay attention in the place I am, to really see what lives around me. There are, indeed, many discoveries to be made!


I also think about 'fresh eyes' when I am interviewing students who hope to study abroad. I want to know that they are able to communicate in a foreign language, of course, but I am also listening to whether they have something worthwhile to say; whether they are aware of their daily lives. Study abroad is always, at least partly, a matter of cultural exchange. You must be able to give and take in these inter-cultural conversations and by looking at your life, you will certainly be prepared to enjoy opportunities to share!


I recommend that you keep a journal. If you dream of studying abroad someday, I'd encourage you to keep it in English. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes, but doing this will help you to develop both your cultural awareness and your language skills.

Kate Bowes

reader by Greg Tsai  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr) 3-31-2017












The English Department here at NDSU is happy to announce our library display this fall will be on Frankenstein.  Please come by and enjoy.



Frankenstein (1818) is the most widely published English novel of all time.  It is also the most widely read work of fiction in English language universities and colleges (Chaucer's Canterbury Tales comes a close second).  The author, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (born Mary Godwin), was only 19 when she began to write her gothic horror classic.

Mary Shelley (posthumous portrait)

(ca. 1851-1893) by Reginald Easton


 "Let's tell a ghost story . . ."

In 1816, 19-year-old Mary Godwin was spending time at Lake Geneva in Switzerland with her future husband, the British Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, along with a few other guests.  They had been reading a collection of German ghost tales, and their host, the British Romantic poet Lord Byron, suggested a contest to see who could tell the scariest story of their own.  Mary listened to others tell their tales, and later her story, Frankenstein, came to her in a "dream vision" later that night as she slept.

Frankenstein; or, The New Prometheus is the story of a doctor, Dr. Frankenstein, who creates a new being out of dead body parts that he steals from freshly dug graves.  He attaches these parts together, and then he shocks his creature into life with electricity.  The subtitle of the novel, "The New Prometheus," refers to a Greek legend in which Prometheus creates humankind out of clay.

  "Frankie Goes to Hollywood"

A number of screen adaptations have been made of Mary Shelley's famous horror novel.  The most famous remains the 1931 version produced by Universal Pictures, starring Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster.  Today, largely because of Hollywood, we think of "Frankenstein" as the monster.  In Shelley's novel, however, "Frankenstein" refers only to the creator of the monster, Dr. Frankenstein, not the monster himself.



"Frankie Wants a Wife"

In 1935, Universal Pictures released The Bride of Frankenstein, again starring Boris Karloff, with Elsa Lanchester as his bride-to-be.  The movie develops the desire for companionship and understanding that Mary Shelley's monster desperately and violently seeks.



Happy Halloween!




英語教育センター長 伊藤豊美