High School Paper of Anton's

My Plans For Future Education

My future plans - educational and otherwise - are deliberately vague and determinedly diffuse. There is simply too much I do not know about myself and my world. I am not ready to pinpoint my objectives; rather, I wish to amplify my possibilities. That in fact is a kind of objective to my future education: I want to study things I scarcely have awareness of now. I want to learn how mountain gorillas make love and war. I want to read Nietzsche and Marx. I want to learn the clicking language of the Bantu, and I want to visit Sibu and Sarawak and live with the Dayak in longhouses. I want to see the hill towns of Tuscany and the statuaries of Michaelangelo and Ammannati.

I know - I think I know - what I do not want to be. I do not want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or industrial chief. I don't want a BMW and a Manhattan townhouse (I prefer a camel and a yurt). I am interested in anthropology, field biology, archaeology, art, math, history, philosophy, religion, languages. I strive to be a Renaissance man, a man who is well rounded, a man of the world. I strive, like the Greek heroes of Homer, to be a man of arete, of "excellence."

What has influenced my choice to pursue such diverse and "useless" areas? Certainly not my friends! They see little chance for money in the camel and yurt business! I suppose I march to the beat of a different drummer. My mother is Japanese, born and raised in Kyoto and now married to my Jewish American father who has trekked in Nepal, hitchhiked through the Khyber pass, worked in Japan, and lived with headhunters in Borneo. We are an odd family who loves to cross all kinds of borders, not just the international ones. I am American; I am Japanese. I am a Jew; I am a Buddhist. I am white; I am yellow. I am a Westerner; I am an Easterner. As a kind of unique world citizen, I thirst to experience more, to see more, to incorporate as much as I possibly can of whatever is out there in the world into my own motley set of beliefs, views, and opinions.

I've traveled to five continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia) in all manner of ways. Since I was three, I've been traveling, often alone. I've traveled alone on a scientific expedition to a desert in Chile and Peruvian mountain fortress in order to see Halley's Comet. I bicycled the Loire Valley in France with just my older sister. I've meditated in a mountain-top monastery in Japan; and I've climbed Mt. Fuji, as well as the Matterhorn. I've watched lions stalk wilde beast in East Africa. I spent a summer living in a convent (!) in Fiesole (above Florence), and now I live with a large French family of eleven in Brittany. These are the sorts of activities which have opened the world to me and which have wedded my interests in archaeology and anthropology, history and languages, philosophy and religion. Mother Earth is a big blue marble; and I feel an irresistible urge to get out into it in multiple and unforeseen ways, in order to discover more about my world and myself.