Saturday, September 14

Developing a genuine thirst for knowledge

On the surface, the Daily Bruin office seems like no place for a
carefree college student. A windowless, cluttered, stuffy office
partitioned by cubicles, it looks like boot camp for the working
world. Why would anyone want to spend hours almost every day,
sometimes cutting spring breaks or Mother’s Days short, for
much of one’s college career?

Who wouldn’t?! Considering what I’ve learned working
at The Bruin since winter quarter of my freshman year and what this
job has demanded of me, it’s hard to leave. Leaving UCLA
isn’t much of a big deal for me, but I’ve grown
attached to The Bruin because being here made me want to learn
about the world.

I hate to say it, but I think it was only until this year, my
last year at UCLA, that I developed a real desire to learn for
learning’s sake rather than out of a sense of duty or
obligation. I’m glad it was a part of my job description.

The job description for an assistant Viewpoint editor calls for
a grasp of current events, from the university level to the global
level. I first thought I was decently informed, but the more I
researched, the more I found how little I knew.

It’s incredibly important to keep tabs on world events,
especially when the news is constantly changing. The more people
know, the more the world becomes a cause for concern ““ but
also a more interesting place.

With things changing fast, it’s hard to form opinions
without doubting them. Trying to keep informed in these times may
sound futile, but it’s enough at least to try. It isn’t
sufficient to just be concerned with the opening of an on-campus
bar and not much else. News that has shown that few American youths
can locate Iraq on a map (to be fair, I used to be one), is
sobering but understandable.

For many people, staying informed is not a part of the job
descriptions, and I don’t blame them. The demands of school,
work and a social life leave little incentive to want to know
what’s going on across the world or what domestic policies
could affect everyday life.

But the notion that we as Americans can insulate ourselves from
the rest of the world because of our geography or our power (after
all, who needs to know about the little guys?) is proving to be
less and less true. And what needs to go away is the idea that
issues are black and white. We live in a world of confusion and
nuance … but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lee is thinking of pursuing a career in radio journalism. Do
you think he has the face for it?

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