As much of an existential question as that sounds, it comes more from the inverse relationship between how many readers I have on this blog and the amount of people I know in real life. So, to answer the questions upfront and candidly. Here’s the inevitable bio!
For Starters, My Name is Kristopher Littlefield
Having been born in Loveland, Colorado, USA, I have a firm love for nature, altitude, and art. If I could bring anything from my hometown to the rest of the world, it would be the beautiful sculptures littered throughout the city. Throughout my childhood I wrote, directed, and acted in various plays and short films while indulging my love for alternative culture via the awesome sport of Ultimate Frisbee. I went to school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, where I majored in Film while studying English and Politics on the side. I, then, traveled to New York City where I spent the most thinning four months of unemployment. After deciding a steady stream of income was indeed important, I luckily found a job teaching English in Japan. In August 2010, it will have been two years since I crossed the largest pond in the world.
A Hike to Change the World
My reasoning for planning such an audacious trip stems from so many places, of which I’ll be writing about in more detail in the coming weeks. I believe in Socrates’ cave analogy, and with that I think the power of example is one of the most powerful positive influences we can have on the lives of others.
Love of the Far East
I have a subliminal love for Japan. Throughout my life, I’ve had moments of hyper-obsession with Japan. I played a few video games, watched some anime, and indulged in a Japanese Film History class at College. I came to find its differences with the US are both astoundingly large and astonishingly small. And for that, I loved it. Ever since coming here I’ve fallen for it’s language and martial arts (namely Iaido which I would describe as a mix between Yoga and playing with swords).
Language Study as a Metaphor
You know, it’s hard to see where preferences come from. Until relatively recently I hadn’t realized I loved learning languages. In middle school, In the last ten years, I’ve had introductory courses in German, Spanish, French, Arabic, and American Sign Language. Once I arrived in Japan, I started studying the language and I’ve been enjoying it for over 18 months. I can manage daily conversation, yet I am still a beginner. This language is so difficult, I have had many people (including my first Japanese teacher) tell me it was impossible for foreigners to learn. For someone who runs on challenges, this is the best way to begin a pursuit into understanding a different culture.
The Bottom Line
I could go on for hours about myself. Those who know me would say I do it too much as it is. So I’ll end with a seemingly random listing of my various quirks. I’m left-handed, like 3 of the last 4 presidents of the United States. I have Type 0(+) blood, which in Japan translates to agreeable, sociable, optimistic, vain, and rude. I’m a Virgo (sun), Capricorn (moon), Scorpio (rising) which for the uninformed means I’m perfect, methodical, and wear Movado watches. And most importantly, my kindergartners call me 栗くん(kuri-kun), in English, ‘Chestnut’.