This I Believe

Kelli - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 16, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in the Beauty Found within Silence

By using silence, a person can successfully manipulate and evoke emotion. The power behind the lack of noise is taken into effect in music and drama to add a dramatic pause and libraries for a chance to concentrate on the written word rather than that of the spoken. Yet, sometimes people apply bad annotations to silence as being anti-social, a lack of passion in an area or even stuck up. However, the usual interpretation of a person that stays quiet revolves around the use of the word ‘shy’, myself included. To me, the most significant attribute of silence is its ability to evoke an understanding.

Since the beginning of this year, I have been volunteering as a conversation leader at Wichita State University and silence is a useful tool in building up a conversation, and depending on where the student is from the silence might last a bit longer than is comfortable for most Americans. After taking the time to actually think about the usual emotion brought forth by silence it seems many Americans find it to be awkward and so comes the musical cricket analogy. Yet, in the conversation class the time without talking allows the student to build up a question or just a statement to further a conversation. Seemingly, many students are in the class to practice English and resolutely are completely silent when listening to anything the leader says and then after a few seconds are able to reply. This never ceases to amaze me how well some can comprehend more than one language. Yet, if there were no pauses in the conversation usually the student is unable to comprehend. Especially due to the fact, most attendees in the time slot I am assigned to, are only Intermediate I students, with the exception of one or two. A common student of mine however is in the Advanced II course and even though she is comparably better, she still has trouble comprehending what I say to her because either I spoke to fast or she does not know some of the vocabulary. Therefore, the quietness allows her to work the pieces together by using the context of the sentence. After, having this student multiple times an understanding has formed and even if she does not say anything, I can tell from facial expression when she is bored of a location, happy or hungry. After I form strong bonds wit h people the conversations seem to lessen because as the familiarity grows the persons basic thought patterns become more apparent.

The bringing forth of time lapses for a way to comprehend language is of utmost importance. This allows concentration to occur and learning which will lead to strengthening international connections due to the increase of the breaking of language barriers. This I find to be beautiful, a whole language brought on by a time lapse of silence.